Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service out and about to reassure over hay fires

Blidworth residents receive assurance from a member of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service's community safety team

Blidworth residents receive assurance from a member of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety team

Community safety staff from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have been out to reassure residents of Blidworth following a spate of farm fires in recent weeks.

The service’s Rural Intervention Vehicle travelled round the village in the wake of a number of agricultural fires in North Nottinghamshire in recent weeks.

Along with staff from Nottinghamshire Police, the team – who were also out and about in Oxton on Monday – will be offering advice to local residents and farmers on how they can help prevent similar incidents from happening in their area.

On October 6, 1,000 tonnes of hay were involved in a fire which cost the farmer £100,000 and closed the Oxton Bypass for most of the day.

It is the latest of a number of hay bale fires in the county which have, in some cases, been left to burn for days.

On September 22, crews were called to Blidworth, where a hay fire had broken out on Rickett Lane. More than 200 tonnes were affected.

Firefighters were called to the same road two days later with a further 350 tonnes of hay bales alight.

On August 31, more than 1,200 tonnes of hay bales caught fire on farmland in Tithby, and fire crews spent almost 24 hours on the scene.

A large fire also broke out on September 21 at America Farm in Annesley.

“Fortunately we have, in recent years, seen a decline in the number of agricultural-related fires in Nottinghamshire,” said Group Manager Bryn Coleman, the service’s head of prevention.

“Sadly, though, we have had a number of agricultural fires in our local communities recently that have caused some significant damage, and we are therefore now working with our partners to try and prevent any more from occurring.”

Some of the advice being offered to farmers by the team includes:

  • Don’t place stacks near to the road, and keep them around 10m from any nearby buildings.
  • Try and separate large stacks into smaller ones, and place fire breaks between them.
  • Store petrol, diesel and other fuel in secure, locked areas.
  • Ensure refuse is disposed of safely and on a regular basis.
  • Maintain fencing, gates and security lighting.

More advice is available on the fire service’s Facebook page.