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Monday, April 22, 2024

Farmers Urged to Monitor Damp Haystacks for Fire Risks

Watch out, cobber! Damp haystacks spell fire danger!

Hey farmers, the CFA’s giving a fair dinkum warning: Damp haystacks are a fire hazard waiting to happen! With over 50 hay blazes since November, especially out west in the Wimmera and Loddon Mallee, it’s time to step up your hay game.

Keep a close eye on the moisture and temperature of your stash, and store it in separate stacks, away from gear and buildings, preferably under a shed or covered with a tarp. Remember that Arapiles fire that gobbled up over 1000 bales on a total fire ban day? Yeah, that’s a stark reminder to manage your hay right to avoid spontaneous combustion.

CFA District 17 Commander, Lindsay Barry, reckons just one damp bale can turn your whole stack into tinder. “Green or damp hay heats up real quick, and that’s a recipe for disaster,” he says. Recent summer rains haven’t helped, exposing hay left outside to the elements. “Water and hay don’t mix well, mates,” warns Lindsay. “They decompose, create heat, and boom, haystack fire.”

Remember that massive storm three years ago that dumped heaps of rain on haystacks and sparked a string of fires? We don’t want a repeat of that! So, Lindsay urges farmers to be vigilant, check their hay’s temperature regularly, and break down any warm stacks. Strategic breaks with machinery can also help control a potential fire.

Right now, with the recent weather, fire prevention through proper management is key. For more info on keeping your hay safe, head over to the CFA website: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/hay

Stay safe and fire-aware, farmers!

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