Photo by David Rauzi
As of Tuesday, October 31, 2017
BIG CEDAR Fire destroyed a hay barn and its contents in an early Saturday morning incident at the Raff residence east of Stites. No injuries were reported.
Losses were estimated around $80,000, according to Fire Chief Blaine Feinman, Ridge Runner Fire Department, for the structure, its contents of between 19 to 20 tons of hay, and a 1994 Ford F150 pickup. Whether the loss was covered under the owner’s insurance was undetermined as of press time.
The call came in at 2:38 a.m. at 193 Hawthorn with six firefighters and three apparatus responding; crews arrived on scene within 12 minutes of the call. The two-story 40-by-60-foot barn was “probably 90 percent-plus gone by the time we got there,” he said. A resident woke up and discovered the fire, which had likely been burning for some time prior to discovery. On arrival, crews found the structure burning “very hot and it was very engulfed.”
“When we’re talking 19 to 20 tons of hay, once it starts going, that’s it,” Feinman said.
The structure had collapsed upon the hay, and due to this and the heat generated from the fire, crews focused on containment, spraying the perimeter to prevent the blaze’s spread. Propane bottles within the fire were allowed to vent and burn off their fuel, he said, “rather than create more of a hazard.”
The fire was contained by 4 a.m. with crews clearing the scene at 4:43 a.m. Scene assistance was provided by Idaho County Sheriff’s Deputy Stan Denham.