MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — Rural Metro Firefighters responding to a call just north of Phoenix International Raceway early Sunday morning found a huge hay fire.
Public Information Officer Colin Williams said more than 200 tons were burning.
“In addition to the hay that was on fire, there were eight semi-tractor trailers that were burning and 13 flatbed tractor trailers that were loaded – all of that ready to be delivered Monday morning,” Williams said.
Williams said he talked to the owner of Southwest Farm Supply, a family-owned business.
“(The owner has) been to numerous hay fires. They’ve always been somebody else’s situation, if you will. All they’re left to do is kind of watch their materials go up into smoke,” said Williams.
The owner told Williams that Southwest Farm Supply has enough stockpiles to meet customer demand. It supplies hay to stockyards, farms and ranches.
Crews are letting the hay burn because they said it is tough for them to get water on the fire because the heat caused the barn structure to collapse onto the bales and trailers.
Plus, Williams said, pouring water creates a prolonged smoke effect and a lot of run-off.