At around 2:30 p.m., the Great Bend Fire Department was called away from the Pawnee Rock fire to a hay bale fire at 251 NW 10th Ave. adjacent to Mid America Feeders. Five hundred large-sized hay bales with an estimated value of $80,000 were on fire, according to Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano. They were continuing to burn Saturday morning. “It’s nearly impossible to put the fire out because the bales burn so deep within,” he said.
The big threat Friday afternoon was the proximity of the fire to a high pressure gas meter, Napolitano said.. Firefighters focused on keeping the gas meter cool until a berm could be constructed between the fire and the meter. Workers from Mid America feeders and the others were a big help in the construction, Napolitano said. Once built, the gas company was able to access the meter and shut off the gas.