Self-heating (often called spontaneous combustion) is a condition where internal heat generation from a material exceeds its capacity to dissipate the heat, resulting in increased temperature and ignition of the material.

A common type of self-heating involves agricultural products, such as hay or silage. Under certain storage conditions, hay will self-heat, ignite, and cause damage to buildings and property. During the fermenting process in a silo, heating of silage can get out of hand and a fire will ensue.

It should be noted that when the fire department arrived, no action was taken. Since other buildings were not in jeopardy, the fire department indicated that the fire would eventually burn itself out. Adding water to the contents in the silo would put the fire out temporarily but would eventually rekindle if the contents were not removed.

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