Running dry plant residue through a machine with many moving parts means there is a risk of fire during harvest. Selecting the correct fire extinguisher is important to be able to extinguish a fire in the field or on equipment.

Keep at least one 10 pound fully charged ABC fire extinguisher on each piece of equipment. In situations when there is a high risk of fire, keep two on each tractor, one 10 pound extinguisher inside the tractor and one 20 pound ABC extinguisher mounted outside the tractor that can

be reached from the ground. ABC refers to the class of the fire. Class A fires are combustibles such as wood, paper or plant residue. Water is the best way to extinguish these fires. Class B fires involve things like oil, grease, paint or other flammable liquids. Oxygen deprivation is the best way to extinguish Class B fires. Class C fires are electrical fires or involve equipment. Carbon dioxide is the best way to put out a Class C fire. Never use water to put out an electrical fire due to the risk of electrical shock.

Visually inspect extinguishers monthly for cracks in the hose and that the gauge indicates the extinguisher is fully charged. Invert the extinguisher several times and shake vigorously to ensure the powder inside has not become compacted from vibrations of the machine. Have a professional inspect fire extinguishers annually.

If a fire occurs, call 911 first before attempting to put out the fire. The remember P.A.S.S. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger and Sweep from side to side. Use a shovel to cover fire with dirt and a leaf blower can also be helpful in the event of a fire.

For more information contact Valerie Tate, agronomist for MU Extension at tatev@missouri.edu or at 660-895-5123.

Valerie Tate is an agronomist for MU Extension.