A fire that started May 28 near Moscow and destroyed an estimated 38,000 hay bales has been out since June 5, but Abengoa Bioenergy personnel continue to spread the remaining hay out to check for hot spots.
Stevens County Emergency Services Coordinator Rodney Kelling said that the Stevens County and Moscow fire departments turned the situation over to Abengoa Bioenergy, the company that owns most of the hay bales, on June 5.
Executive Vice President of Abengoa, Chris Standlee, said that Abengoa personnel have been working on the scene to ensure there are no more hot spots.
"The fire is out. There are no flames, but what we're doing is making sure we spread everything out really well and grate it out and make sure there are no hot spots or anything like that. It's just kind of a long process. It's a tough thing to do, but we're going to be done with that in the next couple of days," Standlee said.
He said that when Abengoa personnel took over, there were some areas that were still smoldering.
Kelling said that the Stevens County and Moscow fire departments are continuing to monitor the situation.
Standlee confirmed the number of hay bales lost in the fire at about 38,000.
"That sounds about right," Standlee said. "We probably lost about 16 big stacks, and each stack was about 1,100 tons — each one of those stacks is about one day's production for us, so we lost about 16 days worth of seed stock, is what it boils down to."
He said that the dollar figure of the loss for Abengoa is unknown at this time.
"The cause is still undetermined and is under investigation," Kevin Doel, public information officer for the Kansas Fire Marshal's Office, said "The total loss is over $2.5 million, which includes hay bales and hay.