Watertown Fire Rescue dispatched to battle hay bale fire

April 24, 2020

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown Fire Rescue was dispatched around 2 p.m. Thursday to a bale fire in a field near 16574 455th Ave.

When units arrived on the scene they were informed that a farmer raising switchgrass was conducting a prescribed burn when the wind switched and caused the fire to jump a fire break line and get into a bale pile.

The pile was close to a shelter belt of trees.

Firefighters used hand tools to roll out the bales to shorten the burn time and reduce the chances that the fire would get into the trees.

There were about 25 bales in the row.

Fire crews were on scene for about 4.5 hours.

PHOTO courtesy Watertown Fire Rescue