Monday night and Tuesday morning were busy for the Waxahachie Rural Fire Department, along with fire departments along on the west side of Ellis County as they battled hay fires well into the morning hours.
Waxahachie Rural Fire Chief John Verwiebe said the department responded to a first call to Farm-to-Market 1446 and Hoyt Road at 9:30 p.m. Monday. The department discovered about 15 hay bales on fire at the property.
The department cleared the scene around midnight, Verwiebe said.
Shortly after clearing the scene, the department was called to assist the Maypearl Fire Department at property at Matthews Road and Campbell Road.
Verwiebe said about 2,000 small square hay bales had been stacked up to be transported and were on fire. While addressing this fire, more hay bales on property across the street were discovered to be on fire also.
Maypearl, Waxahachie Rural, Forreston, Venus, Ovilla and Grandview fire departments were on the scene.
“With round bales we have to rake them out to put them out,” Verwiebe said. “With square bales, there’s really nothing you can do. The best way to put them out is with water and foam.”
Considering the time frame of the two fires at Matthews Road and Campbell Road, Verwiebe said he suspects the fires were lit intentionally.
“Myself and the Maypearl chief are suspecting that they were intentionally lit. There’s no way to prove it, but we suspect they were intentionally lit,” Verwiebe said.
The hay bales on the property had already been paid for and were ready to be shipped. Damages are estimated at $100,000. No injuries were reported.