Blaze destroys 260 alfalfa bales

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Farm Forum

A stack of large round alfalfa bales was destroyed in a Tuesday afternoon fire.

The Aberdeen Rural Fire Department and the Columbia Fire Department responded to the fire, which was reported around 2:55 p.m. at 38758 126th Street in rural Brown County.

About 260 bales were burned, Aberdeen Rural Assistant Fire Chief Derwin Kampa said.

The fire was most likely due to spontaneous combustion, Kampa said.

Wet bales plus the high heat and humidity can cause them to catch fire, he said.

Most of the stack was already on fire when Aberdeen Rural arrived, Kampa said.

The fire wasn’t an open burn. Instead, it was burning inside the stack, Kampa said.

The road was blocked off by Brown County Sheriff’s Office until about 4:35 p.m.

Even if all the bales in the stack weren’t burned, they are now unusable.

“What wasn’t burnt is full of smoke and, generally, the cows won’t eat them,” Kampa said.

The remains of the bales will either be buried or burned away, Kampa said.

Brown County Emergency Manager Scott Meints was on scene as well.