The wind took the flames through the tall grass in the pond pasture, right into the bale pen. By the time it was past stopping, a neighbor spotted the flames. I called the firefighters out to be sure I didn't lose the whole pasture of the 80 acres.
I didn't worry much about the eastern edge, which while I was up stamping out pasture grass, crept within two feet of the new garage, with it's just completed vinyl siding, only three feet from the whole trailer.
KC, a neighbor to the south, showed up with a tiny International tractor. While firemen constantly sprayed the face of the bale on his front stabber, he pulled out three of the burning bales, working to clear the path to the back corner where a few bales were not yet burning. Before he got the third one clear over, out of the way, the spindle on his left front wheel sheered off. Crippling on three wheels, he pulled out of the bale pen and backed into the corner in front of the lane to the back of the farm to be out of the way.
LD, the neighbor who'd first called, returned to his field and showed up with a huge John Deer, complete with cab. He sat high above the burning bales, and made it into the corner, dragging out as many unaffected bales as he could reach while the rest of the bales burned merrily. Again, the volunteer fire fighters kept the face toward the tractor sprayed down.
Six big bales, estimated at 1800# each, were saved, 96 lost.
Fortunately, I'd called my sister a day early to wish her a Happy Birthday. I sure wouldn’t have had a very cheery demeanor after the morning-late afternoon I put in. When they left, the head man told me to keep my eye on the fire.
So, although I said I never would, I drove Audra the Audi up the hill into the pasture nearly to the ridge where the two 40’s join and sat there until 3 am, when I just couldn’t stay awake any longer.