CFS Warns Farmers to Stay Alert

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The CFS are urging farmers to keep an eye on their hay bales following an increase in hay stack fires that have already occurred this season, including the incident on Balaklava Road at Bowmans.

Hay fires are generally caused by the higher levels of moisture that produce a bacterial chain reaction in hay bales when external temperatures rise.

This year saw a later winter rain which has increased the risk of hay being baled wet.

State Duty Commander Brenton Hastie says haystack fires are problematic for the CFS because they take days to fully extinguish and is heart-breaking for farmers, as they generally destroy large amounts of feed and nearby machinery.

"If the bales are stored within a large stack, the fire will quickly spread through the stack and may destroy any surrounding building and equipment," Mr Hastie said.

Local primary producers should monitor the temperatures of hay bales that are stored and immediately remove any bales that begin to produce steam or smoke or are showing signs of heat build-up.

“The best outcome we can have is to limit the chance of the fires starting to begin with by regularly monitoring the stores and lowering the risk of a fire starting," Mr Hastie said.

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