Rock Valley, Iowa — Some round hay bales and some cornstalks were destroyed in a fire on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 near Rock Valley.
According to Rock Valley Fire Chief John Wallenburg, about 3:35 PM, the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a round bale fire at 3529 Fir Avenue, a mile northwest of Carmel or or four miles south and two east of Rock Valley.
The chief says the fire department saw round bales on fire along a concrete silage bunker filled with silage as they approached the scene. He says to fight the fire they pulled the round bales apart and doused them with water. He says a farmer disked a ring around an area in a field of bean stubble, where they took the smoldering bales and extinguished them.
Wallenburg says no injuries were reported.
He says they originally asked for help from the Sioux Center Fire Department en route, but when Rock Valley firefighters arrived they told the Sioux Center department that they could turn around.
He says the cause of the fire appeared to be spontaneous combustion. He thinks that perhaps seepage from the silage pile got to the hay bales and started spoilage. He says if that happens, the internal temperature of the bale can get hot enough that the hay ignites.
Chief Wallenburg reports that six hay bales and some ground cornstalks were destroyed.
He says they used 3000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene about an hour and a half.