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Hay field fire sparks neighbourly response

Baljennie News
summer rural scene
Photo by Louise Lundberg

Families in the Eagle Hills district would like to thank the Battleford Fire Department for the countless hours over two days spent at a fire location in the area.Neighboursand friends were also on the scene, bringing thousands of gallons of water in tanks to supply fire extinguishers. Volunteers also returned to extinguish hot spots in the following days. Farmers with sprayers watered the ground along the fields and brought tractors to help contain the blaze.

The fire started on a hot, dry day in a hay field being harvested. The fire ignited instantly when a machine hit a rock creating a spark. No machinery was lost and only one big, round bale. No farm buildings were in the path of the fire. It occurred in a big, bush-covered coulee. No one was hurt.

This was one time everyone was thankful for the beavers, who had four dams through the valley creating huge bodies of water to stop the fire from crossing into the trees and farms. The wind storm Thursday night made it difficult for everyone involved to extinguish the fire, creating a dangerous situation.

In this desperate year of drought, community spirit still exists, with neighbours helping one another. Thank you to everyone involved who helped to make a difficult situation safe for all who attended.

Thank you to Jean Laycock for supplying the information and all the work she did to feed volunteers.

Battleford was in the path of a plow wind last week that brought gusts of 90 km/h. It did some damage to trees, signs and some buildings. It didn’t last long, but power was out in Battleford for three hours. There was no rain, just wind and dust. There was a report of a small tornado sighted.

At last a little ran feel to be followed with more hot days. We do need a good soaking of rain, but it is too late to do much for the crops. What can be harvested will likely be early. Some of the fields are being salvaged for cattle feed.