Spark from combine sets barley field ablaze

Brian McInnis
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One minute Dean Baglole was cutting barley Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 1) and the next minute the field he was in was full of flames and thick smoke.

The combine that caused the fire sits in Dean Baglole’s Prince Edward Island field and was to be inspected Aug. 2 to determine what happened.

“There must have been a malfunction in the combine somewhere and the first that I noticed was that a fire started in the field behind,” he said in an interview in his home across from the charred field on the North Freetown Road (Prince Edward island).  “There was some fire in the combine as well, but we don’t know exactly what malfunctioned…we have not has a chance to get into that yet. That’s for tomorrow.”

He said everything is so dry it does not take much to get a blaze going.

“It was just gone…we had two fire extinguishers in the combine. I used one on the field and the other on the combine, but there was just nothing we could do.”

He said Kinkora and Kensington fire departments responded to the fire and he had noting but praise for the firefighters.

 “They did a fabulous job…I mean you can see how close it came to the houses and the neighbours and the way the wind was it was carrying it that way” (toward some homes).

It was dry, hot and there was some wind so there was a fear of the blaze spreading to adjacent fields and some houses.

“It scared the hell out of me I can tell you that. It was just a spark and it was gone so they (firefighters) deserve a lot of credit.”

Baglole said it was about a 15 acre field and the fire destroyed about 70-80m per cent of it. He said that the barley had already been combined and all that was left was the straw that they were combining and that is what burned. The fire began around 3:30 p.m. and was out in less than 60 minutes.

The Guardian



Geographic location: North Freetown Road, Prince Edward island, Kensington

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