A STACK of about 2100 hay bales last week erupted in flames near Pyramid Hill.
The latest in a series of on-farm fires that have lit up the district – from Strathallan to Bamawm and Bamawm Extension and in Moama and Mathoura – in recent weeks.
The fires have come shortly after the new season’s baling and Country Fire Authority operations manager John Cutting said they were likely non-suspicious.
“They’re starting by spontaneous combustion – in the middle of a paddock,” he said.
Recent rainfalls have wet uncovered bales and when this moisture and other nutrients break down under the hot sun a reaction can occur.
“The moisture reacts with the hay breaking down and creates heat,” Mr Cutting said.
And if they get hot enough, they can ignite.
Burning bales are usually left to run their course because adding water prolongs the smouldering.
“Most of the time we’ll let them burn in a controlled manner – it’s an easier way to remove the problem,” Mr Cutting said.