Fire warning for North Wales farmers after string of 'spontaneous combustion'

Reporter:

Mike Williams

FARMERS across North Wales have been warned to take care of their hay and ensure their hard work “doesn’t go up in smoke.”

North Wales Fire and Rescue issued the warning last week after responding to 10 fires involving spontaneously combusting hay in farms and barns across the region since April.

Firefighter Brian Williams said: "As many have had a good year for hay making, this may result in more bales been kept within a confined space, therefore; there is a higher risk of hay stacks spontaneously combusting.

"Fire is possible in hay, whether it's loose, baled or stacked, stored inside or outside.”

The fire service says that hay fires usually occur within six weeks of baling.

Mr Williams added: "This year, it may be prudent to consider not piling all of your harvest in one area of the yard or field.

“If it does overheat to the point of creating a fire, you don't want to lose the entire harvest.

“Fires can damage or destroy hay, barns and equipment, and cost thousands of pounds.”

Mr Williams added: "Daily checking of hay stacks is essential - if you detect a slight caramel odour or distinct musty smell, chances are your hay is heating.

"At this point, you will need to keep monitoring the hay's temperature.”

For more information, visit: www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk. 

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