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Haystack fires have a range of causes such as lightning strikes, sparks from equipment and machinery and deliberately or accidentally started. However, many haystack fires self-ignite for no apparent reason. This is called spontaneous combustion and is the leading cause of haystack fires in Victoria....
The heating of hay results in losses of dry matter, digestible nutrients and energy as a result of a complex chain of biological activities. Palatability will also decline as dust from mould spores develop. If heating continues, chemical reactions can begin, possibly leading to haystack...