Residents in flooded areas across Okanogan County are being warned to keep an eye on hay they might be stacking. WSU Forage Specialist Steve Fransen says spontaneous combustion in hay happens every year.
“Which is really kind of a funny name for it because it is actually a very slow process. It may take weeks or it may take maybe even several months before you actually see the combustion.”
Chemical process are activated in hay when it gets wet that can heat up over the course of time which eventually leads to a fire.
“Spontaneous combustion is a real thing. Be cognizant and be respectful. Test the hay for moisture, test the hay for temperature and just keep following it until you’re really well satisfied that it’s going to be stable.”
Fransen says contact your local county extension office if you have any concerns.