Riverhead firefighters doused a fire on a farm north of Sound Avenue this afternoon, where numerous rolls of baled straw caught fire.
It was spontaneous combustion, Riverhead Fire Department spokesperson William Sanok said. The bales heated up and had just enough moisture in them to catch fire, Sanok said.
Moisture in baled hay or straw causes chemical reactions that produce flammable gas, which when the bale’s internal temperature gets hot enough, can spontaneously ignite.
About 20 bales were involved, Sanok said.
A dozen Riverhead firefighters with two trucks and a tanker responded to the 12:30 p.m. call, he said.
It took about 90 minutes to put the fires out and make sure the bales weren’t still smoldering inside, which required firefighters to take them apart to expose and water the center, Sanok said.
No one was injured in the incident.
Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.