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Controlled burn in Joppa sparks hay bale blaze

Bertram Volunteer Fire Department firefighters, capturing images on a helmet camera, contained a blaze involving about 40 bales of hay Dec. 6 on private property on CR 200 in Joppa. Courtesy photo


JOPPA — A blaze sparked by embers from a controlled burn pile destroyed about 40 bales of hay Dec. 6 and threatened a couple of structures on private property on CR 200 just off RR 1174 in Burnet County, according to fire officials.

Bertram Volunteer Fire Department firefighters arrived at the scene about 2 p.m. that Saturday.

“(The property owner) had a small burn pile and a wind gust carried embers over to the hay bales. It was just a gust that came through,” firefighter Dalton Huffstuttler said. “They took all the appropriate steps to burn in the county. Fortunately, they had their grass mowed down so it wouldn’t spread.”

Crews kept the blaze from spreading to structures in areas on the property.

Dousing the hay bales posed a challenge for crews, who relied on assistance from the property owner.

“It’s hard to put out hay bales because they’re so tightly compacted in there. We knocked the fire down,” he said. “The homeowner got their tractor and moved the hay to a burn pit, and they burned themselves out there.”

Outdoor burning is permitted in Burnet County; however, property owners are asked to inform their area fire agency, and, if within the city limits, residents must apply for a permit.

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