With crops dried out for harvest, that can also pose a decent fire risk that farmers in their combines should be ready for.
Whether through a mechanical breakdown, the machinery running too hot, or just a freak accident, fires should be something every farmer is prepared for.
Mike Kwasnica, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, details some of those tips.
“One of the things that we do suggest to farmers is to make sure that the chaff on their combine is cleaned every day, that they make sure that they do bearing checks, they make sure that there are no hot bearings that could cause fires or drop sparks that will cause a fire within that field."
“Also we do recommend that if they can keep water tankers or water trailers within a relatively close vicinity or even water extinguishers on their combines and tractors just to be able to put small fires out quickly. If they get the small fires out then it prevents them from becoming something larger."
Kwasnica also recommends having a heavy-duty cultivator or other machinery that can break up dirt in case farmers need to make a quick fire line to save crops.
With modern machines using more fuel and modern materials, the potential for a fire is greater than ever.
“With the new combines that we have today, even the older combines, but the new ones," said Kwasnica, "the amount of fuel and oils that you have on these machines is tremendous and the majority of these pieces of equipment are either fiberglass or plastic. So you do have a lot of potential for a really large fire when it does actually start on fire.”
He also reminds farmers that no matter how prepared they are going into harvest, a single unlucky rock can start a fire from even the most well-maintained combine.
“There's always a potential for a fire to start, there's a lot of moving parts on these combines. If you pick up a rock off the field, it could be bouncing through the combine causing sparks and it sometimes it doesn't take much if you get some chaff or even some dry grain, it can start a fire relatively quickly," said Kwasnica, "Especially with the winds that we've been having. It can fuel a really small spark into a fire in no time.”
Kwasnica says he has noticed that over time a lot more farmers have been taking fire safety seriously when it comes to harvest.
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