Blaze ravages farm property

A Speewa man was transported to hospital following a fire which threatened his property and destroyed an estimated thousands of dollars worth of farming equipment on the night of January 11.

Firefighters remained on scene until noon on Friday to ensure the fire was fully extinguished. Picture: CAITLIN McARTHUR

Firefighters remained on scene until noon on Friday to ensure the fire was fully extinguished. Picture: CAITLIN McARTHUR

The property owner was taken to Swan Hill District Health by ambulance after he collapsed.

Nine pieces of farming machinery and 200 hay bales were destroyed in the blaze.

The fire, originally called in at Beverford just before 5.30pm was reported burning at a property along Speewa Island Lane.

Mid-Murray Zone Rural Fire Service Superintendent Tony Whitehorn said the blaze originated in a haystack before spreading into dry grass close to the family home.

"We believe it was a spontaneous combustion of a hay pile, it probably got wet in the rain a few weeks ago and as it has dried out is has exploded, as they tend to do," Supt Whitehorn said.

Four trucks and a control vehicle responded to the incident, with Koraleigh and Nyah Nyah West brigades in attendance.

Mr Whitehorn said firefighters did well to turn the fire around as quickly as they did.

"We received the call at 5.35pm Thursday night and by 6pm we had it under control, the guys did some really good work," Supt Whitehorn said.

"The initial crews, the first ones to reach the scene stopped the grassfire that spread from the haystack and was threatening the house, so they pulled that back and controlled that," he said.

The fire generated plenty of smoke with some Beverford residents watching firefighting efforts from Oswin Lane across the Murray River.

Supt Whitehorn said the fire burnt "roughly" an acre in total, with firefighters remaining on site until noon on Friday to ensure it was properly extinguished.

"They let the haystack burn down and extinguished it this morning and then checked it with a thermal imaging camera," he said.

"Crews did a great job saving the house and did great work overnight to extinguish the fire successfully before the fire danger rating jumped up again today." Supt Whitehorn asked farmers to perform frequent check on their haystacks as the warm weather continues.

"We just ask farmers to monitor their hay stacks, we have lost thousands of bales of hay to hay stack fires this season," Supt Whitehorn said. 

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