Mesa hay fire continues to burn

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A hay fire near Hawes and Elliot roads in Mesa continues to burn. By Jennifer Thomas A hay fire near Hawes and Elliot roads in Mesa continues to burn. By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- A hay fire in southeast Mesa could burn for several more days, according to officials.

The fire started at about 3 a.m. Tuesday at Superstition Farm near Hawes and Elliot roads. Firefighters believe this was a case of spontaneous combustion.

The burn pile is about 18 to 20 feet high and about 100 by 80 feet at the base.

Firefighters are letting the fire burn off, which allows for complete, faster combustion so the smoke won't settle in low-lying areas such as neighborhoods, according to the Mesa Fire and Medical Department. Wet, swampy, smoldering hay creates low-lying nuisance smoke.

Farm staff planned Wednesday to use heavy machinery to push the hay onto itself to help reduce the size of the fire and potentially expedite the burning time, fire officials said.

They estimated it may be 48 to 72 hours before there is a significant reduction in the smoke production.

Fire personnel remain on the scene to ensure that the fire does not spread.

There is a neighborhood about 100 yards away, separated from the farm by empty desert.

The county is monitoring air quality in the area.

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