Firefighters respond to haystack blaze

LA JARA—Firefighters from multiple departments worked all afternoon and into the evening Saturday to contain a blaze that destroyed numerous haystacks near Estrella.

The haystacks were still smoldering on Monday, according to La Jara Fire Chief Austin Valdez who said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Chief Valdez said his department was called out at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, and did not make it back to the firehouse until almost 10 p.m. Joining the seven firefighters from the La Jara Volunteer Fire Department were firefighters from Alamosa, Carmel, Capulin and Sanford.

The fire occurred about a mile south of Estrella (Star) off Highway 285 on property belonging to Matthew Bush.

Fortunately the spring wind was not as strong as it could have been this time of year, according to the chief.

“The wind was blowing to the south when we got there and about the time they moved the stacks away from the fence it started moving to the north,” he said.

People were able to see the smoke from quite a distance, and Valdez said the haystacks were still smoldering on Monday, but the firefighters will not return unless they receive a call from the property owner himself.

Valdez said the fire consumed multiple haystacks and chamiso as well as some older machinery along a fence line. He added that the hay that was lost was good quality hay.

The chief estimated that firefighters used about 90,000 gallons of water as well as five to six buckets of foam on the fire.