Five trucks and 13 volunteers from three different fire brigades helped battle a blaze caused by hay catching alight while being transported on Sunday near Griffith.
At around 5.18pm near Moombooldool, a tray truck was moving a load of hay when it’s flammable cargo spontaneously combusted in the heat.
It took until 8.30pm to get the fire under control, and while the truck and it’s hay were completely destroyed and roughly one acre of grassland burnt, there were no other casualties.
MIA Rural Fire Service Inspector Jason Wall said combustion at this time of year was something everyone with hay needed to be aware of.
Suspicious Fires continue: Griffith
Griffith Fire and rescue station 311, RFS and police officers attended another spate of suspicious fires since Friday.
On Friday, fires on Macedone Road and Boyle Road kept the RFS busy, while Saturday saw blazes on Scenic Hill and Slopes Road trouble RFS as well as fire and rescue in the evening.
For Griffith Fire and Rescue Station 311, they had their first call-out at 5am on Friday morning to a car fire on Heath Crescent.
At 6am on the dot they received a call for a fire on Canal Street, where they found a tree on fire which took about an hour to put out. There was a grass fire in the same location, which Duty Commander Adam Wixx attributes to an extension of the tree blaze.
Inspector Wall and Commander Wixx said it was the time of year for residents to be alert and safe, and renewed calls for those with information to come forward.
“The fire on Scenic Hill we are treating as suspicious, as there is no discernible cause, not even a lightening strike,” Inspector Wall says.
He also said a fire on Tyson Lane occurring early in the morning on Monday is being treated as suspicious.
“With this number of suspicious fires, we are urging people to come forward if they have any information at all,” Inspector Wall said.
Commander Wixx said all residents should be on the look-out for anything suspicious, report any fires immediately to 000, and to be safe.
Those with information about these suspicious fires are urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Griffith Police Station on 02 6969 4299.
Haystack fires: Be in the know
Many haystack fires can start for no apparent reason, with the process for spontaneous combustion complex but happening easily.
When hay is harvested or collected, there may be moisture present both inside or outside of the hay.
As the hay comes into contact with oxygen this moisture can transfer into heat over time.
Sparks from machinery, or from hot exhausts or burning material like cigarettes can also set haystacks alight.
- Check that hay has dried or cured sufficiently before baling.
- An easy way to check if a haystack is at risk of fire is by inserting a metal rod or stake into the hay.
- If the rod or stake comes out and is hot, you may have a problem.
- Closely monitor haystacks, particularly in hay sheds.
- You can also reduce the risk by ensuring hay is stored in several locations on your property.
- Also, protect your valuable investment by keeping machinery well away from the hay. Don’t store machinery close to haystacks.
- It’s a good idea to mow and maintain firebreaks around your stored haystacks.
For more information, go to NSW RFS website.