Emergency crews responded to a fire near Ulm on Saturday, September 10, 2022.
Ulm Fire Chief Karsten Hovland said the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion from wet hay.
There were no injuries, and no reports of any damaged structures.
Fire agencies that responded included Ulm and Gore Hill; we will update you if we get more information.
According to J.W. Schroeder of the North Dakota State University Extension Service: “Excessive moisture is the most common cause of hay fires. Odd as it might seem, wet hay is more likely to lead to a spontaneous-combustion fire than dry hay.”
The NDSU website explains that high-moisture haystacks and bales can catch on fire because they have chemical reactions that build heat. Hay insulates, so the larger the haystack, the less cooling that occurs to offset the heat. When hay’s internal temperature rises above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius), a chemical reaction begins to produce flammable gas that can ignite if the temperature goes high enough.
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