(Contributed photo)

No injuries in Hutterite colony hay fire near Innisfail

A Hutterite colony near Innisfail lost 130 hay bales in a fire.

Innisfail Fire crews were called to the Rainbow Hutterite Colony on Township Road 350 near Elnora around 3:45 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Gary Leith, Innisfail fire and protective services manager, said the fire could potentially be natural.

“Sometimes when hay and straw in bales are harvested and there’s some moisture still in there you get a bacterial reaction which causes heating up inside the hay.

“When the weather gets warm and dry, it self-heats and with the breeze there’s often a self-ignition,” said Leith.

Leith said no one was injured and no structures were damaged in the fire, but there was a pig barn within 100 metres.

“With the current dry conditions we had to ensure it was put out.

“We needed some assistance because it was a poor water supply area, so we asked Elnora department to send their tender (firetruck) out to support us,” Leith said.

Firefighters were at the scene for about seven to eight hours to make sure the fire was completely out, Leith said.

“It wasn’t so much complicated, but it was labour-intensive. We had to pull out the individual bales, spread them and extinguish them,” he said.

Damage is estimated around $10,000 to $15,000.

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