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Fire service urges farmers to be alert about crop fires during hot weather

Fire near Ripon last year. Photo: N Yorks Fire and Rescue Service.

A senior fire officer has urged farmers to take steps to avoid the devastating crop fires seen in North Yorkshire last summer.

During a public online meeting yesterday, Zoe Metcalfe, Commissioner for Conservative Police, Fire and Crime, asked Tom Hirst, area manager and director of Northern Fire and Rescue capabilities. Yorkshire (NYFRS), on how farmers are being supported to protect their land from heat-induced fires.

Last summer there was a massive fire near Sharow with dramatic social media footage showing the 300m-high wall of fire ripping through grain crops as temperatures hit 32 degrees Celsius.

According to the NYFRS, fires don’t always start due to dry crops because a fire near Thirsk last July was confirmed to have started because the bearings on the combine harvester overheated.

During last summer, there was also a large crop fire in Norfolk that spread through a field and destroyed five homes.

Mr. Hirst said officials spoke to farmers to advise them on what to do to avoid crops or buildings being destroyed by the blaze.

“We are asking them to brake around the fields to prevent the spread that we have seen,” said Mr Hirst. We’re also giving advice on cleanliness and maintenance. we are seeing a lot of farm vehicles on fire due to accumulation of dust and heat.

“There are also things like having water bottles and other things. It’s about trying to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

Earlier this year, inspectors questioned the North Yorkshire Fire Service’s ability to respond to fires in a crucial report.

However, it was rated “good” in responding to large and multi-agency incidents.

Ms Metcalfe told fire officials at yesterday’s meeting that she expects the service to deliver a “good” overall rating at the next inspection, which is expected to take place within two years. next.


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