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  • Rikki Lambert

Hay: if it's over 70C or smokin' - call 000

A CFS firefighter puts out a hay fire in Mount Torrens in 2020

South Australian farmers are being urged to take care storing and monitoring the moisture of hay this season as the state grapples with a record crop and wetter-than-usual conditions.

A recent haystack fire at Penong has sparked the Country Fire Service to remind farmers that just one damp bale is enough to ignite a haystack. Farmers are encouraged to protect all bales from rain, runoff, leaking roofs and gutters. If some bales become damp, they should be stored separately and closely monitored.

The advice follows the Victorian Country Fire Authority informing north-western Victorian farmers that they also ought to express caution not only storing but harvesting wet, dense hay.

The CFS recommended that haystacks should be limited in size and have enough airflow to allow heat and moisture to escape. Hay sourced from another area ought to be verified as to its history and moisture content before storage.

Farmers should call 000 immediately if any part of the stack is near or above 70°C or you see or smell smoke, you should call 000 immediately as hot hay when pulled apart can ignire..

More detailed information on farm fire safety and prevention is located on the CFS website


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