Mower ignites 33 hay bales

Thursday, October 14, 2010 | 2:47 p.m. CDT; updated 4:38 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 14, 2010

COLUMBIA — Thirty-three hay bales caught fire Thursday morning when the property owner was mowing the fenced perimeter of his field, according to the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Jeremy Sapp inadvertently backed his riding mower into one of the bales and its muffler ignited the hay at 6601 Bass Lane. The day's wind helped the carry the fire to the remaining 32 bales. The fire was “purely accidental,” said Gale Blomenkamp, the Fire District division chief.

When the Fire District arrived at the scene, firefighters secured a perimeter around the bales. Blomenkamp said they then mowed the area around the bale stack and left the area to burn out on its own.

“The best thing is just to let them burn in place,” Blomenkamp said. 

There were no injuries and the only reported property damage was the loss of the 33 hay bales, he said. 

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