Firebugs torch 100t of straw and machinery

A farmer has been left counting the cost after 100t of straw and machinery were set alight in Cambridgeshire.

Fire investigators believe arsonists were responsible for the blaze in a farm building on Stocking Drove, Chatteris.

Emergency services were called at 9.50pm on Tuesday (21 May) to reports of flames engulfing a farm building.

See also: Why on-farm water supply is critical to contain fires

Chatteris, Manea, March, Ramsey and Huntingdon each despatched one crew. When the crews arrived, they found a large farm building – 20mx15m – completely ablaze.

Firefighters used two hose reels and two jets to extinguish the fire, before returning to their stations by 7.30am on Wednesday (22 May).

© Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

© Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

© Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Severe consequences

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Arson is a serious crime and can have severe consequences for those who start a fire, no matter how big or small it might be.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Straw tacks and arson advice ahead of harvest

  • Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting and only baled when dry. Store separately from other buildings, in stacks of reasonable size, at least 10m apart and away from roads and thoroughfares.
  • Petrol, diesel and fertilisers should be stored securely. Dispose of refuse safely and on a regular basis.
  • Make buildings, outhouses and land as secure as you can, fitting alarms and CCTV where possible.
  • If you do need to call the emergency services, give clear instructions on how to find you; mention local landmarks and make sure the entrance is clearly signed.
  • Stay vigilant. If fire occurs, call 999 immediately. If a crime is suspected, pass whatever information you can to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source: Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

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