A field blaze on Saturday night destroyed hundreds of straw bales on the farm of James O’Reilly in Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny.

O’Reilly believes the blaze began when one of the bale chaser's pins scraped off a stone in the field, causing a spark, and setting the dry ground on fire.

“We were loading straw from either side on to the trailer and the flame rose that quick we didn’t have time to take off the straps,” O’Reilly told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“In total, a couple of hundred big, square bales were destroyed in the blaze. We hadn’t time to save any, it was a matter of getting everyone away from the danger.”

O’Reilly has advised all farmers to carry a fire extinguisher in all tractors and ensure they are in good working order.

“The only thing you can do when a blaze like that breaks out is get away from it. We reversed all the machines back and made sure no one attempted to approach the blaze,” O’Reilly continued.

“I know straw is sought after, but I’m sure most won’t mind me saying that it’s only straw at the end of the day and safety in these situations is a priority.”