Advice issued to farmers after hayshed fires
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has issued advice to farmers after attending a number of hayshed fires this month.
NIFRS has provided simple tips you can use to prevent fires when making and storing hay:
Fires are most likely within six weeks of baling. All hay above 15 percent moisture will heat up within three to seven days, but this generally does not get to dangerous levels.
However, if the moisture content is 22 percent or above, it can cause problems, both in the quality of the hay and the risk of spontaneous combusion and fire.
Check stored hay regularly. If there is a smell of caramel, or a distinct musty smell, it is likely that your hay is heating.
Hay can spontaneously combust if the temperature within the stack rises above 55C. The stack may need to be dismantled.
Avoid storing hay in sheds containing fuels or chemicals, and separate from livestock. Ensure sufficient space between the top of the stack and electrical lighting.
If you believe your hay may be on fire, dial 999.