KUNA -- Firefighters estimate about 265 tons of hay is currently burning near a rural dairy three miles south of Kuna. Fire Chief Dennis Johnson said the fire broke out overnight near the intersection of Swan Falls Road and Kuna-Mora Road.
Johnson said it was the third large haystack fire his department had dealt with in 24 hours. "So you'll be seeing a lot of smoke over the Kuna area this morning," Johnson told KTVB.
Due to the fire's enormous size, Johnson says firefighters can't simply extinguish it. He says, instead, firefighters will have to monitor the fire until it completely burns out. In the meantime, Johnson said firefighters will be busy moving burning hay bales away from wood pallets, dry grasses, and other sources of fuel nearby.
"There's nothing they could do with this thing," Johnson said. "We don't have a enough water to put it out."
Crews have been using heavy equipment to pull apart the hay bales to speed up the burning process.
"We're trying to break it down, it'll burn faster and get done, if not it will stay here for two or three days," said dairy farm manager Chris Rood.
We are told the total losses from this haystack fire are around $55,000.
Johnson said firefighters had already battled two previous haystack fires near farms in the Lake Hazel and Ten Mile Road area.
Haystack fires are thought to occur when wet hay is heated by the sun and burns due to a combination of chemical and physical reactions.
No buildings are, or were, directly threatened by any of the fires.