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Mile-long stretch of burning hay keeps crews busy

July 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

SEELEY — Imperial County firefighters called to the scene of a haystack fire Monday found themselves facing a mile-long stretch of burning hay along Jeffery Road near here.

The fire, which started about 2 p.m., erupted in hay atop a Kuhn Hay tractor-trailer rig hauling the hay on Jeffery Road south of Evan Hewes Highway.

The driver of the trailer, Manuel De Jesus Garcia, looked back to see the hay on fire and then swerved the trailer in an effort to dump the burning hay and save the trailer, according to county fire Capt. Lon Hettinger.

County firefighters responding along with crews from Naval Air Facility El Centro worked to extinguish the hay burning on the road.

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Kuhn Hay, which is on Jeffery Road, brought in a skip loader and moved to the hay into one pile, making it easier for fire crews to extinguish. Kuhn Hay employees also helped extinguish the blaze.

Eight firefighters responded to the blaze and it took them about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

No one was injured and the fire caused about $8,000 in damage.

Information on the cause of the blaze was unavailable.

The county Fire Department reported that high temperatures could have fueled the fire. A representative of Kuhn Hay said winds may have fanned the blaze.

The California Highway Patrol and county Sheriff's Office controlled traffic through the area.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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