Local fire crews turned up in full force when around 50 hay bales burned on a farm on East 425th Road in Bolivar on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 8.
Dry conditions and high winds caused the bale fire to spread and accelerate rapidly, said Miles Brite, a Stockton Volunteer Fire Department firefighter who was on scene.
The Bolivar City Fire Department, Central Polk County Fire Protection District, Morrisville Fire Protection District and Missouri Department of Conservation also responded, he said.
“After speaking to the reporting party, it was initially started by accident when some welding sparks ignited a single hay bale when the (reporting party) was performing some minor repair work on the bale spike attached to the rear of his tractor,” Brite said.
Fire suppression and containment efforts from all departments saved multiple outbuildings on the property, and only one structure sustained minor fire damage to its doors and entryway ceiling, he said.
“Some cattle fencing and a gate or two were also lost when the Missouri Department of Conservation had to separate bales with a bulldozer to create a break in the fire line and spread some of the bales, which were continuing to endanger the nearby structures, “he said.
MFPD used a bulldozer to separate some of the bales endangering the outbuildings on the property, Brite said.
After SVFD volunteers were relieved of their duties, Morrisville FD and CPCFPD “continued on into the evening to contain what was left of the fire,” he said.
Brite said there were no reported injuries in the blaze.
CPCFPD Chief Robert Dickson did not respond to requests for comment.