A fire reportedly caused by a “combine harvester explosion” has destroyed land the size of 25 football pitches.
As many as 60 firefighters were called to a machinery fire on the farm at around 1pm on Thursday 26 July. Locals were evacuated from their homes and the local pub and residents were told to close all doors and windows.
Locals on Twitter reported seeing farmers attempting to plow the field in order to “create fire breaks”.
Currently a 'major fire' in #BinfieldHeath, near #Henley. A combine harvester exploded. Farmers are currently trying to plough the field in order to create fire breaks, but the 'flames are whipping up' according to one resident (my dad, @EmpireStamps) @BBCOxford @henleystandard pic.twitter.com/wqKX6sJt2u
— Simon Chandler (@_simonchandler_) July 26, 2018
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service manager, Paul Bremble said: “This incident escalated rapidly because of the extremely dry conditions and a strong wind. We would again urge the public to take extreme care in the countryside as the heatwave continues.
“That means no open fires or BBQs except in designated areas and not throwing cigarette ends from vehicles. If you do spot a fire in the countryside, don’t tackle it yourself, dial 999 and give us as precise a location as you can using road junctions and local landmarks where possible.
“The quicker we get there the quicker we can contain the incident.”
The fire is the latest in a series of farm fires across the UK caused by hot weather, after 45 acres of crops and a £60,000 tractor were destroyed in Sussex.