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Another fire destroys hay, farm machinery

Last updated 06:58 03/03/2014

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Firefighters are battling yet another huge hay fire in Mid Canterbury.

The Fire Service received the call about 6.10 last night that a long row of hay bales had caught fire on a rural property east of Ashburton, Fire Service south communications shift manager Riwai Grace said.

Fifteen fire trucks had attended throughout the night and trucks from Christchurch and Timaru were assisting.

"The fire's about 400 square metres and has taken out a shed, truck and trailer unit, tractors, lots of farm implements, and a couple of thousand bales of hay," Grace said.

"It's been a very long night."

The Fire Service was expected to be at the property all day to keep trying to extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire was still unknown but comes just a week after four similar fires destroyed hay, a hedge and shed containing machinery in the Ashburton area.

Farmers have been warned to move hay bales away from main roads.

The first fire last weekend was lit soon after 4am in Boundary Rd, Willowby, when a stack of hay bales and a 100-metre hedge were ignited, followed by a tree in Fords Rd, hay bales in Stranges Rd, and a large barn in Tinwald Westerfield Mayfield Rd.

The worst of the blazes near the Tinwald and Ashburton area took more than five hours to douse.

Farmers were last week enraged that the fires could have spread to sleeping residents in rural houses and put lives, livestock and other property at risk.

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