Straw fire adds to Shropshire farm blaze toll

A suspected arson attack on a farm in Shropshire has destroyed straw worth more than £30,000.

About 500 bales were caught in the blaze on land at Wrockwardine on Sunday (10 August). The incident brings the number of farm fires in the county to 26 in five weeks.

See also: Fire warning as 25 blazes hit county in a month

Fire crews tackled a wall of flames that were fanned by high winds after the fire began at about 6.30pm.

A spokesman for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said the incident was suspected as arson, but other causes had not yet been ruled out.

Anyone with any information was urged to get in touch.

Straw fire Shropshire

Photo courtesy SFRS Wellington

The Country Land and Business Association said it was important farmers took precautions during harvest to reduce the risk of being targeted by arsonists.

“These fires can spread rapidly, threatening buildings, livestock, machinery and potentially human lives,” said Donna Tavernor, CLA Midlands adviser.

“It is difficult and expensive to replace the lost materials, lives are put at risk and fire service personnel can be tied up for hours when they may be needed elsewhere.

Shropshire straw fire

Photo courtesy SFRS Wellington

“The CLA urges farmers to not only follow the guidance on siting stacks offered by the police and fire service, but to also engage with the local community and ask them to report any suspicious activity on land near stacks to the police.”

Guidance includes positioning stacks where they are not visible to the public and stacking bales away from livestock buildings so that animals are not put at risk if a fire breaks out.

Fire services also recommend splitting large stacks into smaller piles so that unburnt straw can be moved away easily if there is a fire.

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