The Hanover Fire Chief says it was exhaust from a tractor that sparked a field fire north of Pansy Monday afternoon.
Paul Wiebe says firefighters from Grunthal and Kleefeld battled the fire along Pansy Road for about four hours. The field is located about three miles south of Provincial Road 205.
Wiebe says the farmer noticed fire under his tractor. He immediately drove his tractor and baler off the field and called 911. The farmer stuck around to help fight the fire with his tractor. Wiebe says by the time firefighters left the scene around 6:30 pm, fire had consumed 20 to 30 acres of field and between 65 and 70 bales. A damage estimate has been set at $5,000.
Wiebe says the farmer did nothing wrong and while the dry conditions are serious, he still needs to harvest his land. However, he reminds residents it is very hot and dry outside and there is a burn ban in effect with the exception of backyard fire pits.
"I think farmers all understand the seriousness of these conditions and I believe they are all taking precautions not to have things get out of hand," says Wiebe. "Having said that, they need to get out onto their fields and need to harvest their crops."
According to Wiebe, battling the fire Monday was fairly straight forward. He notes they were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to the bushes. However, when it comes to putting out a bale fire, he says they literally have to rip the bales open to make sure they are fully extinguished. Wiebe says Monday's fire is fully out.
There were no injuries from Monday's fire and Wiebe says there was no damage to either the tractor or baler. He notes for a fire like this, the Kleefeld Department was called in for extra manpower. Wiebe says firefighters can only work in this heat and smoke for so long before they get pulled for rehabilitation.