FTLComm - Tisdale - August 25, 1999

Yesterday as the afternoon winds were at their peak blue smoke began issuing from the huge bale stack area East of Tisdale Dehydration plant. There had been a fire Saturday and the high winds had merely rekindled the smoldering remains.

Tisdale Dehydration still has a large amount of last year's bales stacked between town and the plant and the moisture content in these bales though
low, it is still enough to get
some biological action going.

The process that we often describe as "heating" occurs as bacteria breaks down the material in damp hydrocarbons and the temperature can rise to the point of producing spontaneous combustion. Apparently this is what happened. It would appear that these bales had been separated from the main pile probably because it was known that they were a potential hazard.

It is a little unsettling that the condition was allowed to proceed to the point of bursting into flames. Tisdale Dehydration's claims that its emissions are only water vapour so it really doesn't help the towns folk who are down wind of the plant and now its smoldering bale stack, to be exposed to partly burnt alfalfa mixed with the odour of the plant's normal dehydration process. The presence of the odour and now the smoke is the single most annoying element in what otherwise is an outstanding place to live.