Fodder bales feed fire

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Gazette Staff
November 15, 2007

Footville and Evansville firefighters work to extinguish about 200 burning fodder bales in blustery conditions Wednesday afternoon at a farm on County A about one mile west of Tuttle Road.

Vilas Witnebel told firefighters he was loading manure into a spreader with a skid loader and may have backed into the dry bales and sparked a fire, said Lt. Jeramie Mielke of the Footville Fire Department.

The bales were burning “real well” by the time firefighters arrived. Luckily, the wind was blowing in their favor, saving a barn about 100 feet away.

Firefighters were on the scene until about 6:30 p.m. and contained the fire so Witnebel could keep watch. Typically, fodder bales smolder even after the fire appears extinguished.

A damage estimate was not available, but Witnebel figures the bales were worth $25 to $30 each.

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