• Last modified 269 days ago (Sept. 20, 2023)


Hay fire battled for 6 hours

Staff writer

What started as seeing “dust” during a Hillsboro couple’s Sunday evening walk ended up being a three-alarm hay fire that the Hillsboro, Marion, and Durham fire departments spent up to six hours battling.

Even with that many firefighters on hand, it took hours to get the fire under control, and even then firefighters were summoned back to the hay fire Monday evening.

“It’s one of those that could have been a lot worse,” Hillsboro fire chief Ben Steketee said.

Steketee said Dale Dalke and his wife had been out walking and thought they were seeing dust from Stuart Penner’s property near US-56 and Limestone Rd.

When they realized it was smoke, they called Penner and helped get some equipment out of a one-sided barn where bales of hay were stored. Dalke and Penner also began removing bales.

“We had four tractors working for about two hours,” Steketee said.

Some bales were damaged but not burned up, he said.

“We spread those out on the pasture so they could go ahead and burn up,” he said.

Firefighters were on the scene from 7:45 p.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday.

It took a lot of teamwork to battle the blaze. Tankers filled up multiple times at a hydrant near Container Services and Hillsboro Community Hospital.

“We set up a water shuttle where we put a drop tank down so trucks could shuttle water,” Steketee said. “It was really something to see. Dale Dalke was the first one who saw it and was there until the very end. It was really good to see how neighbors help out neighbors.”

Last modified Sept. 20, 2023