Most all small town departments have been called out to a barn fire that is just packed with these. They are big, heavy and not real easy to put out. We have tried piercing nozzles, foam, water and just destroying them with our bare hands. Still none of this seems to work great. Does anyone have any tricks of the trade on putting round hay bails out efficiantly

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Excavator and a lot of water...
Have you tried running Class A foam at 0.01% (light water mode) through two piercing nozzles - one from each end?

I've had some success with this in the past.

For a really deep-seated fire, you're talking about moving the bales with heavy equipment followed by a long, manpower-intensive overhaul exercise.
We have tried different things, but we usually end up wetting them down, unrolling them and dousing the remains with water. If there are a lot of them, you just about have to have a tractor to separate them, and then it's back to the unrolling and dousing. Fun times!
ive never tired that weve only used one piering nozzle on them and it didnt work the greatest really, but like you said the overhaul on them is rediculous we normally end up spending more time messing with the bales than it took to put out the fire
The only luck we have had is unroll and let them burn out.Have tried almost everything else.
You can get a lot better water saturation to the interior of the round bale by tipping it on it's side first.
Try the Class A foam at 0.01% through two foam nozzles next time.

It doesn't always work, but the combination of two piercing nozzles flowing from the opposite ends of the round bale and the penetration improvements from the low-percentage Class A foam can really make a difference.
Just let it burn unless its in a barn. Be prepare to lots of water on it. We have hay bales in our district and we usually let it burn.
well i dont have the firefighting experience in this but i have lived on a farm for the last 11 years so i would say unroll if you have enough room or tip on its side, pull out a few sections fromt he very center and put the water directly in the center at an angle... the hay is a lot looser the closer to the middle you get.

I was at state FFA convention and everyone was telling farming stories and i think this one is relevant... A guy was baling on a hill and the bale caught on fire... he backed up closer to the pond at the bottom and just let the bail roll into the pond to put it out. Waited a few hours and drug it out..everything was fine after that. lol so when in doubt push into a pond
take the single fork loaders and move the burning bale out of the barn, then just bust them apart...

we do what you suggested Ralph coupled with the use of a lot of foam

however, with that said, it got me interested enough to do some research on the subject, here's what I found out from folks across the country that have had to deal with this on numerous occasions:

1. CAFS will smother the entire bail, and once it dries, you can still use most of it. You may have to keep a truck there for several hours to be sure nothing flares back up, but with the right amount and mixture of CAFS, it will smother that bale.

2. What ever you do, DO NOT let the farmer push them into the pond! They just float and continue to burn!

3. Dawn dish soap. It will not mess up your pump. We buy it in the big bottles from Sam's. We put about a half a bottle per tank (250 gal.) in our brush truck. Works great. No un-rolling. We have a lot (25 a year) hay bale fires and we have been doing this for years. The suds act like foam in that it allows the water to "Cling" to the surface and smothers the fire better than just water, but cheaper than foam.

4. I have tried dish soap, foam, mass quanities of water, unrolling, drowning in a body of water, piercing nozzles, more foam, and prayers. The only real success I have ever experienced with hay fires is to dig a hole, drop the bales into it, and cover it up. Otherwise it is hours on scene babysitting.
ouch... when i took my ag 1 class as a freshman one of the requirements was a tractor safety class where we were taught the proper way to operate a tractor and machinery as well as what might happen if something went wrong. My adviser showed up pictures of people who were caught in pto shafts and they were pretty gruesome. one guy got his belt loop caught when he bent over it.. he spun around and around that shaft for 5 hours before his 11 year old son found him.... all that was left was the base of his backbone and a little piece of skin keeping it together. Another one was where a guy was trying to kick hay out and unclog the baler and he got his legs caught... lost everything up to his knees but he lived... FFA will sure teach you about life
Are explosives off limits...? Personally...I would rather drag them (Tractor) to an already burned off area and let them go....you aren't going to put those damn candles out....

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