Fire as farm exhibition goes awry

TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 19:15 20/02/2013

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Wairarapa

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An exhibition of new farm baling equipment came spectacularly unstuck on a Wairarapa farm this afternoon when a round barley baler and tractor unit, together worth $400,000, caught fire in a barley paddock. 

Two fire trucks and a water unit from the Carterton Fire Station attended the fire on Andrew Rayner's Gladstone Rd property. 

The dozen firemen were assisted by an equal number of local farmers, most of whom were at Mr Rayner's property to watch the exhibition baler in action. 

The barley crop had been cut on Tuesday.  

Carterton fire chief Wayne Robinson said the fire started in the new baler unit. 

"It was so intense it spread to the tractor unit before it could be detached. The whole lot went up. There was about $400,000 worth of damage to the machinery," Mr Robinson said. 

The fire "whoomphed" through about five acres of barley stubble, setting 10 large bales of harvested barley alight as well. 

"It was pretty full-on there for a while. But with the help of the local farming community we managed to contain it to the one [Rayner] farming property," Mr Robinson said.

Contact Tim Donoghue
General reporter
Email: tim.donoghue@dompost.co.nz

Twitter: @timdonoghuenz

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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