Fire destroys haystack at Strathmerton

By Rodney Woods

What was reported as a grassfire turned out to be much worse for dairy farmers on Stokes Rd, Strathmerton, after 360 large square hay bales were destroyed in the blaze.

The fire was reported at 12.15pm on December 30 and CFA District 22 commander Pete Dedman said it was a timely reminder to be cautious when it comes to stacking hay in the current seasonal conditions.

“It's a timely reminder to store hay in small stacks and monitor for self-heating and don’t park machinery nearby or in the same shed,” he said.

Mr Dedman said 30 tankers and two water bombing helicopters attended the fire which "spread rapidly" due to the hot northerly winds.

Despite the non-friendly firefighting conditions, firefighters contained the blaze to 39 ha.