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Suffolk: Farmers urged to change hay storage after spate of blazes

PUBLISHED: 18:16 28 September 2012 | UPDATED: 18:16 28 September 2012

The scene of a straw fire.

The scene of a straw fire.

Archant

pOLICE and fire chiefs are urging farmers to be vigilant and change how they store hay after a spate of arson attacks.

The warning comes just days after a pig farmer in Cavenham lost £22,000 worth of bales in two separate, but linked, incidents.

Since August this year there have been seven haystack fires at various locations across Suffolk.

Aside from the blaze at Cavenham, there have also been fires at farms in Parham, Gisleham, Lakenheath, Exning and Rushmere.

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said farmers should consider changing how and where they store their bales. He said: “As a result of these incidents Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are asking farmers to consider creating a series of smaller stacks which have a natural firebreak in between them and to also consider setting the stack back from the road so as to make it harder for a car to pull up beside the stack where it may then be set on fire.”

The East Anglian Daily Times reported this week how Ben Spurgeon was left counting the cost after about 1,200 bales on his farm on Tuddenham Road were set on fire.

More than 60 piglets had to be led away from the scene as the fire threatened to engulf some nearby pens.

Witnesses reported seeing flames of between 50 or 60ft high.

Police said another arson attack had resulted in £14,000 worth of bales being burnt.

A spokesman added: “Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious incidents to Suffolk police on 101, or if you see an event like this in progress dial 999.”

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