Bale fire turns into marathon

Rush County News – April 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2014

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A fire caused by the hot exhaust on a lawn mower and spurred on by wind gusts of approximately 40 miles per hour destroyed more than a thousand round hay bales at the John Lohrey farm east of Bison on Friday, April 18. The Bison Fire Department was called to the scene of the fire at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Friday, and firefighters were still keeping an eye on the fire more than 24 hours later.

Several fire departments responded to the fire, including Otis and La Crosse, and water was hauled to the site by several fire departments, individuals and Mid State Coop.

Bison Fire Chief Robert Barlow said 1,300 bales were destroyed, but the fire was kept from spreading to a nearby shelterbelt of evergreens, cattle pens and silage stored nearby. An excavator was brought in to break up the bales so they would burn faster Barlow said it is very hard to extinguish a burning hay bale.

Fire department personnel took turns watching the fire through the night and into the next day, staying on the scene for more than 24 hours. Flames were still visible in the charred mass Saturday afternoon.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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