Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Four-alarm hay fire still burning; air quality watch in effect

HayFire CoryW

An employee of Haykingdom in Winters streams water on the burning embers Friday of 10,000 tons of hay that ignited Thursday night. The fire is expected to burn for several more days. Cory Golden/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | September 29, 2013 |

An air quality watch remains in effect for Yolo County as a massive, four-alarm hay fire north of Winters burns on.

Smoke from the fire stayed aloft through Saturday afternoon. The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District kept the watch in place because of concerns that as the fire cools and weather changes, smoke from the 10-acre blaze on the Haykingdom property, 26888 County Road 90, could settle.

The watch is set to expire at 10 a.m. Monday. The fire likely will burn for at least another two or three days.

Residents are asked to close windows and doors and avoid strenuous outdoor activity if they smell smoke. They should take steps to protect those particularly susceptible to unhealthy air, including young children, the elderly and those with asthma, heart disease or lung disease.

By midday Friday, smoke reached the ground in Livermore. A wind change saw some landing near Yuba City and Lincoln early Saturday morning.

At about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, firefighters called to a grass fire at the Putah Creek Road exit off Interstate 505 spotted something to the north.

“As they were coming up, they could see a glow,” said incident commander Ron Karlen, division chief for the Dixon and Winters fire departments. “Then they looked to their left and saw a bigger glow, headed for it and stumbled across this.”

The fire appears to have started in stacked, tarp-covered hay bales on the northwest corner of the property. With ample fuel, low humidity and winds blowing from the north at 20 mph, it quickly became a “fireball” just yards from the interstate, Karlen said.

Heat and blowing embers ignited neighboring stacks of hay. Flames shot 200 feet in the air.

“It looked like a forest fire,” Karlen said.

At one point, more than 100 firefighters from Yolo, Solano, Sacramento and Colusa counties were on the scene with 20 engines and 12 water tenders. They were hamstrung by a lack of easy access to water, making runs to a hydrant almost two miles south.

It was only at about 1 p.m. on Friday that Karlen said he started feeling as though firefighters had managed a measure of protection for the six remaining barns, an office building and at least one other outbuilding on the property.

The blaze has caused more than $3 million in damage, an estimate that includes the four destroyed barns and a hay press, worth about $2 million, housed in one of them, Karlen said. That figure does not include the value of more than 10,000 tons of hay, according to Haykingdom office manager September Ford.

Fire investigators are due to go to work Monday.

Along with firefighters, who took breaks in the shade with sacks of burgers, the company had enlisted an outside contractor and its own employees with earth movers, tanker trucks and hoses.

Karlen said he hoped to push the piles of burning hay and debris as far away from the other buildings as possible before turning the fire over to property owners on Friday night.

The charred, muddy ground, twisted metal and at least one blackened tractor amid the piles of burning hay looked “nuked,” in the words of one firefighter.

A hay exporter, Haykingdom has locations in Nevada, Washington and Oregon, as well California. It built the Winters facility in 2002.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and a Winters Fire Department brush fire truck was caught up in the fast-moving fire. Karlen said Friday he didn’t know how badly it had been damaged.

Another injury was suffered away from the fire. Just before 2 p.m. Friday, 19-year-old Jessica Bassett of Winters became distracted by the distant plume of smoke while driving southbound on County Road 93A.

Her blue 2000 Toyota 4Runner left the pavement and rolled before coming to rest in a field, according to California Highway Patrol officer Bryan Konvalin.

Bassett suffered minor injuries, including cuts. She was taken by ambulance to Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center.

To receive air quality alerats, see http://ysaqmd.enviroflash.org or follow the district on Twitter @YoloSolanoAir or on Facebook.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
.

News

City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
World travelers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Weightlifters causing a racket

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Wage plan has a big flaw

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
No support for militarization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

A better use for this vehicle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Police are our friends, right?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

 
Light-hitting Cats fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Giants win nightcap in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

 
Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Yolo Mambo to play free show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6