Brush fire at Clanton farm

Firefighters battled a fire at a local farm Monday after a controlled burn caught these hay bales on fire.

What started out as a simple trash fire got out of hand Monday.

Clanton, Verbena and Gap of the Mountain Fire departments all responded to a call around 10:40 a.m. that a brushfire had spread to a surrounding field on a farm off County Road 841 in Clanton.

The fire started when worker Rick Cagle lit a brushfire in a pit, and apparently sparks caught a group of hay bales on fire.

“I lit a brush fire in the pit, and went to moving some more brush when I heard the fire crackle,” he said. “I looked over, and the hay bales were on fire. I guess it was a spark from the pit [that] started it.”

The group of around 100 bales, which were valued at between $4,500-$5,000, went up relatively quickly because of the extreme dryness.

“This is why we’re not even issuing burning permits right now,” said Clanton Fire Chief David Driver. “It’s just so dry.”

Driver said it took firefighters about an hour to put out the blaze, and then the Forestry Commission took another hour to contain the burning bales.

Driver also warned anyone who thought about burning trash to take safety measures, especially this time of year.

“If people are going to burn, be very careful,” he said. “It is extremely dry out here.”

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