My pager went off this morning at 5:30am, and the first report of fire sounded like it was going to be the typical river bar fire that always seems to disturb my weekend sleeping. Since it had been raining I was kind of surprised, but then the address was given and it wasn’t anywhere near the riverbar. Got down to the hall and got in one of the tenders and started out to Waddington. On the way it was reported that it was a hay stack on fire. Only when I got there did I find that this was the mother of all hay stacks. Reports had the value of the organic alfalfa being between $100k and $200k. Only a small portion of it was saved. The fire started with spontaneous combustion and the whole core was smoldering. So as we started pealing it away it became evident that most of the hay had already reached critical tempature and as soon as it hit oxygen it would start burning. A stack loader quickly arrived and was able to separate a few stacks from the end that was ok. Then an excavator was called in to start pulling apart the rest of the stack and then it was spread out in the adjacent field so we could put it out. By rough calculations we put well over 30,000 gallons of water on the pile. We finished our operations about noon, and unless we get a few good days of rain in a row, it’ll probably still be burning out there for awhile. Anyone need a few truckloads of soon to be very moldy hay? The really sad thing is the organic alfalfa can’t be replaced this late in the season, and there are 1000 head of cattle that were counting on that stack of hay for their winter food.