Rise in farm fires prompts advice from fire service!

Following a higher than usual number of farm fires across the county and with the hot weather set to continue, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is sharing fire safety advice for the agricultural community from the NFU. The incidents included a large field fire on Red Lane, Burton Green on Sunday 8 July which was tackled by twenty firefighters.

Arson Prevention Officer Rebecca Roberts said: “In this heat the ground is very dry and fires can spread quickly endangering lives and businesses, so it is so important that farmers are aware of what to do to prevent fires, and deal with them if the worst does happen. The vast majority of farmers make every effort to protect their crops, equipment and buildings, but these simple checks can make a real difference.

“Fortunately the fires we have seen have been accidental in nature, but there is an increased risk of arson involving stacks. To reduce this risk, farmers should remove hay and straw from the fields as soon as possible after harvesting, and store them separately from other buildings in stacks of reasonable size away from roads.”

To help keep you safe, crews from WFRS are advising the following.

If you discover a wild fire on open land:

· Get to a safe place. They can move quickly and unpredictably

· Go further away than you think necessary and if possible put a natural fire break between you and the fire

· Note your location and call 999 asking for fire and rescue

At harvest, to reduce the risk of fire:

· Make sure you have working fire extinguishers with every vehicle during harvest

· Think about cultivating firebreaks around fields after harvest

· Make sure machinery is chaff free, serviced and in good condition

· Have a tractor and associated requirement ready to cut a fire break if necessary

· Keep a full water bowser or tank nearby when harvesting

· Regularly check and maintain open water supplies for fire fighting

· Remind employees to be careful with cigarettes and matches while harvesting. Put it out, right out.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Fire Safety, Cllr Andy Crump added: “The safety of Warwickshire communities is paramount and as the hot weather continues, fire damage can quickly have devastating consequences. We are fortunate to have beautiful rural areas across the county, and we would urge everybody to take extra precautions to avoid fire in these conditions.”

For more information, visit the NFU website: https://www.nfuonline.com/news/featured-article/advice-on-farm-fire-and-wildfire-risks/

For more information about reducing your risk of arson visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/arsonrisk