Fiery start to harvest

IT has been a hectic start to harvest for farmers and CFS volunteers alike, with several fires requiring rapid response in recent weeks.

Blazes were sparked on Sunday at Snowtown and Everard Central, while a fire in Kelvin Tiller’s lentil crop near Grace Plains on Monday claimed one of his headers, despite having fire breaks and a manned water cart in the paddock.

He had also treated both harvesters with a solution to prevent lentil dust catching alight on hot header parts.

“Both my headers have that stuff on them but I did want to put more on,” Mr Tiller explained.

“You can be doing everything to suppress the issue but sometimes that’s the nature of the beast, it’s the conditions we have to work with.

Mr Tiller is no stranger to header fires, particularly when working with lentils.

“The dust gets on the exhaust or manifold and it has a low ignition point, unless you see it, it’s probably hard to explain.

“99 per cent of the time, you get to it quickly enough to sort it out but this one, the wind was blowing the wrong way and took hold, we couldn’t do much about it.”

Mr Tiller does have another header but harvest will have slowed up significantly with the loss.

That said, he was appreciative of how quickly CFS units and neighbours were able to get to the fire and contain the blaze, with added assistance from the air bombers.

Read the full story in our online edition: http://plainsproducer.realviewdigital.com