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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To be honest. If it isnt going to cause any further damage or injury, just let me burn. You can dump a ton of water on round bales. It will always put out the fire, but it will continue to smolder for days. You almost always will have to brake them apart to stop them. So After you move the bales away from any structure or exposures, just talk to the farmer too see if they have a safe place(in a field) to store them and let em smolder away. You can fight hay fires for days. But the one thing that we have done that worked the best, and it is tough to line up and you go to have the permission from the owner, is too get an excavator and dig a big hole, push all the bales into the hole and cover the hole back up. That always seemed to work. In some cases it is even faster then trying to fully extinquish the fire by offensive actions. We have tried it all from foam (class A and class B), water, dozers, excavators, tractors, ladder trucks with deluge nozzles, piercing nozzels, you name it. But digging the hole seemed to work the best. Good luck, we normally have a couple really bad ones each year.
Our best success has been with the piercing nozzle and class A foam. We saturate them from the center until foam is oozing out everywhere.
Looks like we've tried everything here and lets face it there is no easy solution.
The Dawn thing sounds interesting and may have to try, a product called wet water kind of does the same thing, foam is not an answer, straw breaks the surface tension or degrades before fire is out, besides it's to exspensive.
Piercing nozzles don't work unless you stick it in exactly where it's burning which would be a poke and hope, water penetration at the tip is very little and will run out along the delivery tube, path of least resistance.
Pond is not an option, as someone who builds them for a living you don't want the decaying matter, it's a fish killer.
Burying is OK unless you got 20+ smoldering which leads to the best solution, remove, tear apart and drown, get the big toy's in for this, even in rural areas today I will almost guarantee an excavator within 20miles of your scene.
Be careful with the Dawn. While it may not bother the interior of the pump, it is hard on the pump packings (something about the alcohol content). I know Hale discourages it's use. A milder soap like Palmolive, will give almost the same results, and does not cause the packings to deteriorate.

Naturally, if round bales are in the barn, they must be removed to save the rest of the barn and contents. If space permits, simply unroll the bales and "fluff" the hay with a fork. This allows the hay to freeburn, lessens the smoke and once it's out, it's out. No more baby sitting or using thousands of gallons of water. In addition, the use of foams on bales (including CAFS) while effective in extinguishing the bales, even the "environmentally friendly" solutions can sicken livestock if they eat it. We find the freeburning to be the best way to eliminate the hazzard. The bale is gone, and there is less of a chance of contaminating the livestock.

Rolling the bale into a pond is not a good idea either. They float and will continue to burn, plus they will sour in the water, and contaminate the pond.
We do the same as most here. Get it out of the barn and unroll it and lots of water and class a foam.
Livestock tend to avoid partially burned or smoked hay like a plague, in my experience.

Any hay that you extinguish is good corn field mulch, but it's not good for much else.
the only way we have found is to unroll the bail and let it burn. After spreading it out it will burn up in no time at all.
I still think explosives are the answer.....LOL.....BOOM.....No more problems......LOL
I really dont have any secrets but we just unroll them with a truck
I love it.. We have small town/rural firefighters all over the country and we all pretty much handle these things the same way from what I can tell from reading these posts. The farmer always has (or should have)the right type of machinery to move the bales, be they round or the big square monsters. Its best to keep the flames down and let him move them to a dirt area in his stackyard or some other bare lot. Open them up and wet them down. We just had an open lot fire with over 500 tons in six parallel stacks. of course the fire started on an interior stack. We saved the outer ones by letting the farmer and some neighbors move them while we kept the flames down as much as possible. Water relay of over five miles for seven hours. We ended up in an awful mud bog by the time it was all over.

We had a 250 round bales burning all at once fire.  We had to tractors moving the bales to an open field, busting them open and then hosing them down.  I would simply never trust a round bale was completely out if I didn't tear it apart.

 

Ok, if a responding crew has time, and doesn't want to be there off and on for days. Cut it off from bales not yet involved( cattle won't eat scorched, smoked-up hay). Unroll the affected round bales and let them burn up. If you talk to the owner they'll appreciate it . You can unroll it and put it out, but it is a mess for the farmer to dispose of soapy, wet, burnt, hay.

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