Dramatic photos show farm arsons in Norfolk
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
The public is being urged to watch out for arsonists after dramatic photos showing stacks of straw ablaze were released.
Fires which occurred in Tatterford, King's Lynn and Boughton saw tonnes of stacked straw set on fire leading to fields becoming engulfed in flames.
The first, which happened at 11pm on Wednesday, September 22, was at Tatterford, near Fakenham, and saw 50 tonnes of straw next to a liquid fertiliser tank on a concrete pad near a country road.
Another blaze occurred on Thursday, September 23 at 7.35pm, at land off Saddlebow Road in King's Lynn and involved 400 tonnes of straw on a field which had been stacked hours earlier and was located off a farm track and through a locked gate.
On Monday, September 27, at Mill Hill Road in Boughton, 300 tonnes of straw in a stack were also set alight at around 7pm.
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Assistant chief fire officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Scott Norman, said: "These incidents waste valuable emergency resources and put at risk public lives.
"There are steps that farmers can take to help reduce the risk, but the public also needs to help by staying vigilant."
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Farm workers are being advised to take the following steps to help prevent arson on their land:
- Remove straw and hay from the fields as soon as possible after harvesting
- Store stacks in sixes, and keep 10m between each stack
- If stacking straw in buildings, do not put in the same building as machinery or fuels
- Store rubbish in secure metal containers
- Ensure sheds and outbuildings are locked
- Install security lighting
- Repair or replace any damaged fencing or gates.
- Check unoccupied areas regularly to ensure they are safe and secure.
- Keep fuel and chemicals locked away
Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council, added: “Stacked straw is highly flammable and due to the nature of the incidents, we know these fires were all started deliberately.
"If any member of the public sees anything suspicious when they’re out and about I'd urge them to contact the police on 101 or online."