Can weather cause bales of hay to catch fire?

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Chapter Heat and Cold

Dry bales of hay are perfect tinder to start a fire. The most likely scenario for a hay bale to catch fire is when it is struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. But green, freshly harvested hay can be incendiary, too. Methane gas can build up within the piles of hay as the foliage decomposes, and when the temperatures are hot enough the methane can combust. This happened, notably, in the summer of 1995, when hay bales ignited in several U.S. states, especially in Missouri.


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