Th tugs are supposed to go up river to bring lumber to a timber company that will turn the lumber into building materials that are to be used at a construction site in the main port. However, Ten Cents is wheezing mushroom clouds out of his funnel. Captain Star gives him the lite load to carry. The tugs go up river to collect the lumber. As they head down river to the port, Emily diagnoses Ten Cents with Coal Cold, a rare disease found only in tugboats. It infects the coal, and it can cause sparks. Ten Cents tries limit the amount of coal in his smokestack, but he sneezes again, and ends up setting his lumber barge on fire. The barge sinks beneath the river, but the lumber remains floating. The sparks from the lumber set the forest on fire. Billy Shoepack comes along, and he and Ten Cents begin to think.
Meanwhile, Emily and Sunshine are pulling barges down the river when the fire drops onto their barges. Now blocked off from returning back up river, they are forced to go ahead to find the fire tug.
Billy Shoepack attempts to blow up the logs to get rid of them, but the fuse gets wet, and Billy doesn't have any other. Ten Cents holds in all of his ashes, and lets them all out. The sparks land on the dynamite, and set off an explosion. The logs break up and sink. Ten Cents and Billy push through the wreck and manage to get to the spot that Emily and Sunshine lost their barges. They manage to push through and get to the main port. The Red Cross takes Ten Cents while the remains of the barges are taken back to the port. The fire is out, and Captain Star knows to think twice before sending a tug with Coal Cold out to logging.
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