As Estevan Fire and Rescue keep a close eye on the dry conditions in the fields, they are encouraging producers to take precautions to avoid starting a fire.
Fire Chief, Dale Feser says, "It has been fairly dry here but we've been fortunate, we've just had one so far which was a couple weeks back with a baler and tractor combination and the farmer did an amazing job trying to get the vehicle away from all the vegetation that had been laid down."
The farmer attempted to detach the baler and put the fire out but had no luck and got out of harm's way.
"Conditions haven't warranted fire bans but there have been a few times where we've bounced between the extreme danger indexing and high danger indexing. It's something that we don't take too lightly and we don't want to have a knee-jerk reaction to and have them put in and put out but, at any given time especially during this time of year it's best to exercise extreme caution when working in the field and during controlled burns."
Fire Chief Feser suggests that farmers should take the time to properly clean their equipment of dust, chap, and crop residue from outside and inside the mechanical components, making sure it is free and clear so it is not an easily ignitable inside product in the machine. a lot of times they see fires caused by hot barrings or chains that may get thrown.
Another step of precaution is to allow the machinery to cool before refuelling especially if you need to refuel fairly close to an exhaust or hot area, allowing it to cool helps prevent a fire in case of an accidental spill.
Working fire extinguishers should also be mounted on the equipment. Ideally, one in the cab and one accessible on the ground; so you don't have to climb up to the cab just to get to an extinguisher. The operator should also know how to properly use the extinguisher.