Dry conditions in area concern for farmers

A routine trip to a field south of Kamsack to do some spring baling ended in a near tragedy on May 9 for a local farmer.

A baler owned by Paul and June Chernoff caught fire in the field around three miles south of Kamsack, and was engulfed in flames. “It was lucky the fire was contained and didn’t spread, and no one was injured in the incident,” Paul said.

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“The individual who was operating the tractor at the time noticed smoke coming from the baler at one point when it was time to eject a bale, and reacted quickly by pulling the pin and driving the tractor away just in time before flames shot out and the baler was a flaming ball.

“The Kamsack Fire Department attended the scene and was able to keep the blaze from spreading too far.”

The baler had been thoroughly inspected and fully serviced prior to being sent out in the field, Paul said. Unfortunately, the John Deere 567 round baler with net wrap is a total loss.

The Chernoff’s believe the fire was caused when the baler picked up a foreign object, most likely a rock, which jammed the pick-up and caused heat build-up and the resultant fire.

“The conditions in the area are very dry right now,” Paul said. “ It doesn’t take much to spark a blaze under these conditions,” he stated, saying that this incident is a real “heads-up” to other farmer’s in the area right now doing field work, adding extra caution might be needed while working in such dry conditions.

The Chernoff’s are very grateful that no one was injured in the incident and that the fire was contained.