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The Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called out (stock image)

Firefighters deal with straw alight on field

Firefighters have dealt with a large blaze of baled straw in a field at Wootton near Canterbury.

Four engines attended the field near Wootton Lane and Shelvin Lane yesterday (Monday) afternoon.

Crews surrounded the perimeter of the fire and worked with the farmer to break up the bales and extinguish the remaining fire using house reel jets and beaters.

It was the second blaze in a field they dealt with in a matter of days after they attended a standing corn alight on a farm in Upstreet on Saturday.

The Kent Fire and Rescue Service has had a busy summer attending fires on agricultural land across the county.

Paul Flaherty, an assistant director at the service, has urged people to take care when heating or burning anything.

He said: “Whilst there’s a real need to be vigilant, there’s also a need to be sensible and responsible too. We need people to take real care over barbecues; they should be managed carefully, with coals and ash disposed of once things have really cooled down.

“Not only that, but to those who smoke, please make sure you fully extinguish smoking materials. Evidence suggests that too many of our attendances to large grassland and crop fires result from the careless discarding of smoking materials.”

“In these dry conditions, we ask you to make sure that garden fires are kept well attended and not built too big that they become unmanageable.

“It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings. Shrubs and trees are also very dry. Garden bonfires can quickly spread. Having a garden hose or even buckets of water on hand can prevent the unintended spread of this kind of fire which hasn’t been helped by the high winds we have also been experiencing.

“Kent Fire and Rescue Service is well prepared and will be there where and when we’re needed, but my appeal is to keep the demand for KFRS down for fires that can easily be avoided with a little more care and attention.”

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