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Lightning causing havoc in the Western Australia wheat belt

Australian farmers are losing tonnes and tonnes of feed stock through lightning strikes this storm season. One farming family has lost a large hay and barley straw stack to a raging inferno, still smouldering three days later, sparked by lightning which struck their property early Monday morning.

The recent fire comes after a series of ongoing rain and storm fronts in Western Australia’s grain belt which has delayed harvests for growers and started blazes on several farming properties.

Despite the early hour, the small farming community rallied quickly to aid the family. Within half an hour we had most of the neighbours here helping.”

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Gianni Colangelo said that thunderstorms associated with warmer weather could continue to cause problems for WA farmers.

Ken Graham, who is also a volunteer firefighter, said there was little they could do but watch his daughter’s stock feed burn to the ground.

“There’s about sixty bales of hay in it and about 100 bales of barley straw,” he said.

“We pushed it around with the loader to get it to burn quicker.

He credits the proper fire preparation on the farm for preventing a potential tragedy for his family, including his daughter’s young children.

“You’ve got to make sure you’ve got firebreaks around your haystack, which we did have,”

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor

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