BREAKING NEWS: Queen Creek hay fire expected to burn for days, fire official says

Queen Creek Fire works to keep the Silage cool. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)

Queen Creek Fire works to keep the silage cool so the fire does not spread. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)


Firefighters from Queen Creek Fire and Medical are working to extinguish a hay fire at Arnold Anglin Dairy Farm at Queen Creek and Signal Butte roads that began late Sept. 10.

According to Queen Creek fire officials, the call about the fire came in around 10:30 p.m. last night. Firefighters on Sept. 11 were still working to keep the fire under control.

“With these types of incidents, there’s nothing we can do to put it out,” Battalion Chief Dick McBlane said. “We are trying to keep it from spreading to the silage.”

Silage is a type of feed for cattle that is stored under plastic covering near the hay, according to Mr. McBlane.

Fire officials believe that the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion. The hay will generate its own heat because it is compressed in piles, according to Mr. McBlane.

“It’ll ignite deep within,” Mr. McBlane said. “And then you start to see the smoke.”

Due to the fact that the fire will burn and generate smoke for days, the Maricopa County Air Quality is on-site.

MCAQ has inspectors and is working on getting monitoring equipment on-site. The monitoring equipment will read the levels of smoke.

“There will be one at the school (Ben Franklin) and one in a residential area not too far from there,” MCAQ spokesman Bob Huhn said. Ben Franklin Charter School is across the street from the fire.

“The good thing now is that the inversion is over from the morning and it (the smoke) is starting to lift up and out,” Mr. McBlane said.

“This morning you could probably see the layer of smoke, I bet you all the way up into Scottsdale,” Mr. McBlane. “It’s been burning for hours.”


The hay fire is expected to burn for days. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey

The hay fire is expected to burn for days. Investigators believe it was caused by spontaneous combustion. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)

Arianna Grainey is a freelance photojournalist.

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