FIREFIGHTERS from Newton Abbot responded to reports of a fire near Stover school.

The call came in on Sunday morning (March 24), detailing a fire in the open opposite the independent school.

Upon our arrival, the crew discovered a large pile of wood chips, approximately 20 tonnes, smoking and producing large amounts of heat.

Pile of smoking wood chips sees Sunday action for Newton's firefighters
(Photo by Newton Abbot Fire Station)

‘When damp, condensed materials like wood chip and hay are packed in, and can produce heat due to micro-organisms' within, self generating temperature’ a spokesperson for Newton Abbot Fire Station said.

‘These temperatures can reach impressive levels in their own rights and will eventually self combust’ the spokesperson added.

Crews used drag forks to pull apart the wood chip pile, and a 45mm attack jet to cool down the wood chip.

A nearby hydrant was then used, for the purpose of a water shuttle, and after three tanks of water, the Incident Commander was content that the temperature had reduced enough for the crew to safely leave the scene.