GORHAM — Rural fire crews from Russell and Ellis counties responded to a fire in a field containing approximately 1,400 hay bales Tuesday afternoon.

An unknown number in a section of the large, round bales were burning in the field approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Gorham when Russell County crews from Gorham Rural Fire District No. 1 arrived.

Crews from Bunker Hill District No. 5 also were on the scene.

Company 4 of Ellis County Rural Fire was called in to offer assistance at about 2:40 p.m., said Tom Tholen, chief of Company 4.

“We’re in a defensive mode to keep these unburnt bales from burning right now,” Tholen said about 4:30 p.m.

Crews were pulling burning bales away from the others with a tractor and skid-steer loader, breaking them up and dousing them with water.

Shifting winds billowed thick grayish smoke through the field.

“Some of these bales are going to burn for several hours yet,” Tholen said.

Volunteer firefighters continued working well into the night Tuesday.