The NFU has announced it is working with the fire brigade in order to reduce the rapidly increasing number of combine harvester fires.
Lincolnshire appears to have seen the most instances of combine fires, with two this Wednesday bringing the county’s total to six incidents in just three days. Just before 8pm on Wednesday fire crews were called to a blaze at a farm in Crowland which saw 200 meters of straw stubble catch light along with the tractor.
Around an hour later firefighters were called to another fire, where a combine had caught fire near a wheat farm at Quadring Fen.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager Mark Baxter, said: “We have good links with the NFU to support the farming community in regards to fire safety to reduce the risk of fire related incidents in rural areas. It has been a busy period for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and the farming community, in which we have seen a 50% increase in field fires from this time last year.
“There are several factors that have resulted in this increased volume of incidents, which is due to the public taking advantage of the prolonged hot weather conditions and also the increased level of activity of farmers to harvest their crops.
“Our outdoor fire campaign highlights the risks associated with discarded smoking materials, use of disposable barbeques, not leaving campfires unattended and not to leave glass bottles lying on the ground.
“All our work across all areas of our communities is focused on reducing the likelihood of field fires within Lincolnshire.”
The NFU has advised a number of measures which farmers can take to avoid fires, these include:
- Removing hay and straw from fields as soon as possible after harvesting.
- Only bailing up the product when dry.
- Storing separately from other buildings in stacks of reasonable size away from roads and other routes.
- Keeping stacks a safe distance from overhead power cables.
If a fire does break out, the NFU advises farmers and landowners to:
- Call the fire and rescue services without delay.
- Send someone to the farm entrance to direct the emergency services to the blaze.
- Prepare to evacuate any livestock in case the fire spreads.
- Prepare to use any farm machinery to assist the emergency services.