Updated: Hay fire contained, but smoke, haze raise citizen concerns in Gilbert, Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Updated: Hay fire contained, but smoke, haze raise citizen concerns in Gilbert, Mesa

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:15 pm | Updated: 10:15 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

A large hay fire near Warner and Hawes roads could be out as soon as Wednesday night, but continued to cause smoke and haze in Gilbert and Mesa. That has sparked a large number of calls from concerned citizens to the communication centers in both cities, according to a Gilbert spokesperson.

“The fire has been burning for two days and is contained, but is being allowed to burn itself out. It is not presenting a danger to any structures or our community,” Sgt. Jesse Sanger of the Gilbert Police Department said in an email. “This morning, Rural/Metro began spreading the hay out to expedite the burning process. This is generating a great deal of smoke and haze in our community.”

Colin Williams, spokesperson for Rural/Metro Fire Department said the crew would begin to break up the haystack Wednesday night as the weather cooled.

“Our strategy from the beginning is to let that hay burn. It’s really difficult to apply water to that. It’s ineffective with how tight that hay is packed together. Really what we do is make sure nothing else around it catches on fire,” and there are no injuries, Williams said.

Wednesday night Rural/Metro hoped to work with the dairy’s owner to break up the haystack, he said.

“Once they do that we can flood the area and extinguish it completely,” Williams said.

Photos and information can be found on the department’s Twitter account @ruralmetrocaz.

Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or mreese@evtrib.com

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