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Fire burns up to 500 tons of hay


August 11, 2017

Havre Daily News/Floyd Brandt

Flames burn on hay on Baltrusch Farms north of Havre. Up to 500 tons of hay was destroyed by the fire that started Thursday. The fire is now contained but continues to smoulder.

Firefighters have been working since Thursday evening to put out a blaze at Baltrusch Farms where 400 to 500 tons of hay caught on fire.

The fire was caused by moisture in the bales, Havre Fire Department Fire Chief Mel Paulson said this morning.

"When it's cut down, it builds up heat and then combusts - rapid oxidation," Paulson said.

Les Rispens, Hill County executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, said prices for quality hay are up to $150 a ton, meaning the loss to Baltrusch farms could be $75,000 or more.

The call came in about 8:35 p.m. Thur...

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