FEEDLOT IN FLAMES: 500 bales of hay conbusted in the centre of the feedlot.
FEEDLOT IN FLAMES: 500 bales of hay conbusted in the centre of the feedlot.

Months of supply lost after erupting into flames at feedlot

FREESTONE feedlot lost three months of supply yesterday afternoon after 500 bales of hay in the lot’s centre conbusted and erupted into flames.

Owner of the feedlot Cliff Shelley said the fire could have done a lot more damage if it weren’t for the quick actions of his employees.

“They were working out there and at about 11.56am started to smell burning,” he said.

“They were straight onto it and got to work trying to put the fire out while they waited for the firetruck to come”

“Because of the wind it took off so quick.”

The blaze begun in a bundle of 200 hay bales and then spread to 300 bales of straw beside it.

“There were about 1000 bales nearby so it was lucky firefighters and workers manage to contain it to that area,” Mr Shelley said.

Five fire crews as well as police and Queensland ambulance Service attended the scene but no one was reported injured.

Forklifts were used to break down the bales and slow the movement of the fire.

By 1.20pm, crews had control of the blaze and worked to extinguish it.

Billows of brown smoke aggravated by strong winds were visible from a distance.

As of 3pm the fire was almost completely out.

Despite the location of the bales Mr Shelley said there was no risk to any of the cattle on the feedlot.

“The biggest loss will be financial in this situation,” he said.

“But you have to look at the positive here, it’s a good thing no one was injured considering how quick it lit up.”

Mr Shelley said the clean up job ahead will take several days.

“We’ve got a few clean-up days ahead and then depending on what rain we get in the coming months, we will have to import more hay in from Southern Australia,” he said.

“Going forward will be have to be more careful and conduct moisture detection on all the bales that come into the feedlot.”

“This hadn’t really happened before but I guess in drought, you’re at the hands of the haymakers.”