Thursday, May 15, 2014

Local News

Smoke and Mirrors  

It's a hay day for Chilliwack firefighters when a semi-trailer rolls into town ablaze

Staff/ Voice photos


A Chilliwack firefighter hoses down a semi-trailer load of hay Thursday after it stopped on the side of the Trans Canada Highway near the Vedder Rd. off-ramp.


warm day, tinder-dry hay and hot vehicle exhaust may have been the reasons why a blaze broke out in a load of hay destined for a Prairie Central dairy farm just after 10 a.m. Thursday.


The driver, who's from Chilliwack, picked up his load in Langley and then stopped at Lickman Rd. He had just got back on the freeway eastbound when he saw smoke in his mirrors. He managed to get the rig over to the side just before the off-ramp at Vedder Rd. and call 9-1-1.


RCMP closed the off-ramp while the Chilliwack fire department moved their trucks in to extinguish the fire. The City later brought in a front-end loader and a dump truck to clean it up.

According to the driver, the bales directly behind the cab dropped first when the binder twine holding them together melted. But by then the fire had travelled down inside the load.


He speculated that the vehicle's exhaust ignited the load.

"The exhaust coming out of the stacks is 800-900F and I figure that's how it started. The hay was from Clinton and really dry too."

The driver never heard of it happening before.

"Not since I've been driving," he told the Voice.

There have been cases of spontaneous combustion involving stored hay in barns. The fire department has not yet confirmed the reason for the fire

The roadway was clear and reopened by around 2 p.m. and there were no injuries to report.


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