A large cotton cultivating machine caught on fire as it was in motion, causing about an acre of the surrounding field in San Tan Valley to burn on Monday afternoon.
A fire crew from the Rural Metro Fire Department responded to the fire near Rittenhouse and Combs roads about 4 p.m., and had the fire out in about an hour, according to Mark Cichocki, a Rural Metro Fire spokesman.
Cichocki said that no cotton modules (similar to bales of hay) were damaged, and that less than an acre of land was burned. The cause is under investigation; a dollar estimate on the damage was not known Monday.
Cichocki said he was not sure which cotton farm owned the cultivating machine.
Cotton is about a $6 million-a-year industry in San Tan Valley, he said. He said the machine is called a cotton picker and is valued at $350,000.