Crews from multiple agencies on Saturday evening battled a two-alarm grass fire sparked by farm machinery near Highway 34 and Red Bridge Road between Albany and Lebanon
A failed bearing in a baler sparked the blaze, according to a news release from the Lebanon Fire District.
Upon arrival crews found a large tractor and baler surrounded by fire in a field. The fire was approximately half an acre in size, but gusty winds and a large amount of unburned fuel led to the call for a second alarm to bring additional resources from neighboring departments. Firefighters from Tangent, Albany, and Scio came to assist while mutual-aid crews from Scio, Brownsville, and Sweet Home responded to Lebanon to cover the district.
Crews worked to attack the flanks of the fire as it moved south toward Highway 20, pushed by 10 to 15 mph winds. Once it was flanked, the head of the fire was extinguished and mop-up and overhaul operations began.
The district reported that 1.2 acres were burned and they were able to protect the tractor from major damage. The baler received more significant damage. The property is owned by Mike Hayes. Chris Horton was farming it with his crews and equipment. Horton estimated the combined value of the tractor and baler at $270,000.
Crews were on the scene for close to three hours mopping up hot spots and ensuring that the baler fire was completely extinguished. No one on the farm was injured. One firefighter suffered mild heat exhaustion but was treated on the scene and returned to duty.