Fire destroys baler near Portersville

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
“I thought I’d dress up for the occasion,” joked Craig Greulich, who wore a pink tuxedo shirt as he sprayed water on a smoldering field Wednesday afternoon. The Ireland Volunteer Fire Department responded to a baler and field fire along Portersville Road.


PORTERSVILLE — Fire destroyed a baler Wednesday west of Portersville but the operator using the equipment got high marks for quickly ushering it out of a field and getting it unhooked from his tractor.

Bart Meyer with Meyer Farms was baling straw with a John Deere 567 round baler when a fire was noticed and the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department paged at 12:24 p.m., according to Fire Chief Stan Seifert.

Meyer was alerted to a problem when he noticed the baler squealing, Seifert said. He looked back and the baler and the last large bale that had been processed were on fire, the chief said.’

Seifert said the cause of the fire has not been determined. A mechanic had finished working on the machine about 30 minutes before Meyer pressed it into service, according to the chief.

Bart Meyer was able to drive the baler out of the field to the Albert Schnarr barn lot at 5455 W. Portersville Road West, Seifert said. Meyer rents the field where he was working, the chief added. He also had time to uncouple the tractor from the baler.

Ireland sent some resources to the burning baler and other firefighters went to the field, where about an acre of straw stubble burned in addition to the one large bale.

Four trucks and 13 firefighters were on the scene for an hour.

Later, at 2:58 p.m., flames sprang back up in the baler from a partial bale that was still inside.

The department returned and one firefighter, Scott Schnaus, who was familiar with that type of implement manually tripped the baler hatch so firefighters could rake the remaining straw and dowse it with water.

Seifert said the baler was a total loss.

The Ireland Volunteer Fire Department responded to a baler and field fire on Portersville Road on Wednesday afternoon. 

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