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Large strawstack fire treated as arson - and could take a week to burn out

PUBLISHED: 14:42 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 09 September 2019

An appliance from King's Lynn is at the scene of a large strawstack fire that broke out on Sunday, September 8. Picture: Sarah Hussain

An appliance from King's Lynn is at the scene of a large strawstack fire that broke out on Sunday, September 8. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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Firefighters are on a watching brief following a large strawstack fire.

Smoke is still bellowing out of the strawstack fire that started on Sunday, September 8. Picture: Sarah HussainSmoke is still bellowing out of the strawstack fire that started on Sunday, September 8. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The blaze broke out on College Road, Wereham, just after 4.40pm on Sunday, September 8.

Around 15 firefighters attended the fire with one appliance remaining at the scene overnight.

The fire service is allowing the burning strawstack heap to burn out itself.

An appliance from King's Lynn is still at the scene on a watching brief. The crew will leave later today and the burning will be overseen by the farmer.

The fire, which has been burning since Sunday, September 8,  is being left to burn itself out.  Picture: Sarah HussainThe fire, which has been burning since Sunday, September 8, is being left to burn itself out. Picture: Sarah Hussain

Approximately 7,000 hay bales, each weighing about a ton were set alight.

A firefighter on scene this morning said: "The biggest fact was the smoke drifting into people's homes over the field.

"The farmer moved the stacks to stop the fire spreading.

"We're just letting it burn out and will leave it with the farmer.

Scenes of the large strawstack fire in Wereham on Sunday, September 8. Picture: MATTHEW FARMERScenes of the large strawstack fire in Wereham on Sunday, September 8. Picture: MATTHEW FARMER

"The Environment Agency have come down to assess it and have agreed we should let it burn out.

"I would say it will take a good week to burn out completely."

Police are treating the incident as arson and are investigating.

A police spokesman said: "It is believed the hay bales were set alight between 4.25pm and 6.30pm yesterday evening.

Scenes of the large strawstack fire in Wereham on Sunday, September 8. Picture: MATTHEW FARMERScenes of the large strawstack fire in Wereham on Sunday, September 8. Picture: MATTHEW FARMER

"A number of hay bales have been damaged."

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