According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office an alarming number of hay bales are being ignited by spontaneous combustion.
The County wants to remind farmers and ranchers to keep a close eye on bales they are moving into storage
About 300 bales burned near St. Anthony, another 100 near new Salem and 10 west of Mandan according to the Sheriff’s department.
They say when hay is put into a stack or barn when it has more than about 22 percent moisture, it has an increased risk of spontaneous combustion. The Sheriff’s department adds grain that was baled for hay due to the drought can be deceiving at baling time and needs to be checked thoroughly before stacking.
Producers should try to limit the size of their hay stacks and leave several hundred feet between stacks if at all possible.