A massive fire still burning Friday night at a hay export business in Yolo County is estimated to have caused at least $6 million in damage so far.
Near the massive hay blaze, bright orange flames were visible against the dark night sky as far as the eye can see.
The fire burning at Haykingdom in Winters started Thursday night and spread quickly. It is fueled by as much as 20 tons of hay, and fanned by red flag winds that whipped through Yolo County last night and earlier Friday.
A haze from the fire was visible in the air in the South Bay and Livermore Valley. The Bay Area could be seeing more of it since it's expected to keep burning for about a week.
KTVU took a tour of the damage with Winters Fire Chief Aaron McAlister Friday evening. Driving through the burning piles of hay and melted metal barns, the heat was unmistakable.
McAlister described the blaze as a "career fire," one he isn't likely to see again in the small town of Winters. It took help from neighboring counties and farms to get it under control.
Now all they can do it let it burn and make sure it doesn't spread. The fire started on a corner of the property near a frontage road. Fire investigators haven't said how it started.
Haykingdom is a family business. It's been exporting hay, primarily to Asia, for 30 years. The hay burning now would have been bound for dairy and beef cows in China, Taiwan, Vietnam and beyond.
Office manager September Ford said she knows the owners. She got emotional talking about the fire, saying it's "very sad".
There are other barns on the property and more hay stock that haven't burned. The goal now is to keep it that way.
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