Jefferson County firefighters protect second hay shed, and help save equipment.

SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Bystanders watch as fire consumes a large hay shed filled with about 600 tons of alfalfa hay. The hay shed is located on Southwest Bear Drive, east of U.S. Highway 97, in the Culver area.
A large hay shed full of alfalfa near Culver was destroyed by a fire that caused $250,000 in losses on Jan. 2, but firefighters protected another shed full of hay and helped residents save nearby vehicles, farm gear and other items.

Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 crews responded around 11:30 a.m. to the shed fire in the 7600 block of Southwest Bear Drive, east of U.S. Highway 97, Fire Chief Brian Huff said.

The first crew arrived to find about 600 tons of alfalfa inside the hay shed fully involved and already considered a total loss, Huff said.

SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Firefighters hose down the hay to keep the fire from spreading to a second hay shed.
Firefighters spent the next nine hours protecting exposures to the fire from ignition. Huff said another shed was full of hay that was mostly saved, though a few bales had to be removed after they caught fire.

Fire crews, the land owner and neighbors protected and salvaged vehicles, farm equipment and a large amount of combustible construction debris, Huff said.

The fire chief said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

The hay sheds are owned by Collins Gilbertson, of Culver, according to Capt. Kasey Skaar, but the hay was owned by someone else. Both the barn and the hay were insured.

A total of 16 fire personnel — five staff members and 11 volunteers — responded to the fire with one engine, one ladder truck, two water tenders, and one command vehicle. Warm Springs Fire and Safety provided mutual aid, and Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services stood by at the scene.

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