A fire service has released a warning to farmers across two counties following a number of fires and farming-related accidents this harvest.

Firefighters from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service have been called to a series of fires over the last two weeks involving agricultural machinery, stubble or hay and straw.

Two fire crews from Ledbury were called to a farm in Bosbury, Herefordshire, at 12pm on Friday (7 September) after a man’s arm became trapped in some baling machinery.

Working alongside paramedics, firefighters were able to free the man’s arm by using cutting equipment to release the tension on the rollers of the machine.

The man, who suffered severe injuries to his arm during the incident, was given medical treatment at the scene before being airlifted to hospital.

“A fire in a baler or a tractor can develop very rapidly, causing significant damage to the equipment and the loss of the crop, which can both have a massive financial implication for the farmer.”
Station commander Adrian Thompson

On Wednesday (5 September) fire crews dealt with four farm fires – three in Herefordshire and one in Worcestershire.

These included a large field of stubble on fire, a blaze involving a baler, another fire involving a baler and stubble, and two separate combine harvester fires.

Station commander Adrian Thompson, from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of these fires but we do want to make the farming community aware that these incidents have happened and to be extra vigilant themselves.

“We recognise that farmers will be making the most of this prolonged spell of dry weather but we’d urge them to take regular breaks if using agricultural machinery to try to avoid the risk of such an incident occurring.

“We would also encourage them to consider carrying some form of firefighting equipment with them if at all possible as it can take some time for fire crews to reach some of these more rural locations.

“A fire in a baler or a tractor can develop very rapidly, causing significant damage to the equipment and the loss of the crop, which can both have a massive financial implication for the farmer.”

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