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Senior Advisor

Tid Bits - Bale Fire

Our local volunteer fire department working overtime, we were on location for approximately 26 hours.  A stack of 1300 round bales destroyed.

 

 

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Fire was reported at 1400 on Good Friday the 18th.

 

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We were using tractors with grapple forks to pull the stack apart the best we could and just let them burn.  We hosed to front of the tractors after every swipe but the fire was too hot.  The grills were beginning to sag or melt due to the heat.

 

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At 2200 last night we called in some reinforcement at $250/hour that had a little longer reach.  We had trucks on each side of the boom constantly spraying with water to prevent the hydraulic lines that ran the bucket from melting.  We were successful, $3500 later the excavator was released from the scene.  Used roughly 30,000 gallons of water.  Best news of all, no one was hurt, just mild smoke inhalation and some fatigue or exhaustion.

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9 Replies
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

Would have been fun with some really
Strong winds. Expensive fire, with at
Least $50/bale.
Don't count on mother nature to lend
A helping hand.....they moved that x that
was at your place to the east quite a ways.
Now. .75 if you cross your fingers, toes
And any other body parts to get even that.

Or fire dept is foam crazy.

Gee didn't they give that firewomen a rest
break? ?
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Honored Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

If all the bales were already on fire, why not just let it burn itself out?

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Senior Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

30-35MPH sustained wind speed with gusts over 40MPH.  The wind was wrecking havoc on trying to keep all the embers from blowing into a tree row.  We set up a series of lawn sprinklers to keep the trees and surounding grass from igniting, and it worked.

 

The problem with just letting the stack burn without ripping it apart is that it would have turned into a 7-10 day smoldering festival and we didn't feel like babysitting a fire for 1-1/2 weeks.  We did just let them burn, but we tried to speed the whole process along by allowing as much air into the stack as we could.

 

Hey, that little lady really surprised all of us, she is the daughter of the chief and has been out of high school just a couple years.  She's been involved for about 5 years but hasn't really expressed much fire fighting interest until recently.  She is our compliance officer, which means she completes all fire logs and maintains documentation that needs to be sent to the state fire marshal's office monthly.  I take my hat off to her, she worked her tail off.  She only slept about 2 hours (on top of a silage pile) out of that stretch of time and made sure the rest of us had everything we needed including bottled water.  On top of the 30,000 gallons we pumped on the fire, I think we went thru 6 cases of water.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

That was smart using the sprinklers. Got
The job done without tying up a bunch
Of people.

I suppose the shelterbelt was all ceder trees,
I've seen them almost explode


6 cases of bottled what. ?? Smiley Happy
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Senior Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

Yep, every tree was a cedar and they were starting to smoke about the time we turned the sprinklers on.

 

I hear you on the bottled water, but trust me it tastes way better than ANYTHING else at times like these.  Safety is a key concern of our department.  We haven't lost a firefighter for about 50 years and we are trying our damnedest to keep that going.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

Roarintiger1,

 

If you leave them in a stack it takes forever to burn out.  And sinders fly in the wind for days.

 some of them may not be burning yet.  So sometimes you can save some.

 

If not you get the air to them and get it over quicker.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

Thank you for sharing this story Shaggy - a bit of your selfless, ballsy "volunteer" side. --sounds like this was a doozy and quite the exhausting undertaking.

 

saw your thread when we - "the fam" got home from seeing "Heaven is for Real" - I highly recommend) based on the true story of family from NE where father is pastor & volunteer firefighter...some beautiful grainfield scenes (filmed in belt somewhere). 

 

Believe it was a fitting weekend for release on Easter - at least the film industry's not being shut down from telling some truth in the midst of our smoke 'n mirrors world!

 

Happy Easter everyone...let us not forget the gifts we've been given:

 

 

 

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

The wife and Kids saw "God's Not Dead" this past Friday night. They said the same thing, it was a must see by all.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Tid Bits - Bale Fire

I understand now with the putting out the fire if there is a chance of the fire spreading......makes sense.    Also, I can't agree more with a must see of these two movies.  Now "Noah" on the other hand, was a huge disappointment.........Hollywood fiction.

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