POLICE have urged landowners to be vigilant after a fire broke out in a barn following an illegal rave.
Around 30 police officers were called to a barn on Worlington Road, between Tuddenham and the A11, on Sunday at about 4am.
Police found around 200 trespassers and 70 vehicles on the site.
Officers soon found that straw bales in the barn had caught fire. The barn was evacuated and the fire service called.
When police tried to clear the site, some of the revellers became confrontational. However, by 5.30am the site had been cleared of people after a Direction to Leave notice was issued.
Fire crews from Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Newmarket fought the blaze for more than eight hours, after almost 100 tonnes of the large bales were caught up in the flames.
Detective Inspector Steve Denham said: “Officers moved quickly to close this rave down and evacuate the barn once it was established that there was a fire.
“Once we receive a report of a rave, our concerns are for the safety of those at the rave as well as for the nuisance and disturbance that can be caused to the local community, and so a series of steps are taken to monitor and then close down the rave safely.”
A farmer was also called upon to set up an irrigation system and provide assistance in clearing the bales.
No arrests were made in the incident and no-one was injured.
A spokesman for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said illegal raves regularly prompted ‘huge clean up exercises’.
“The fire at this event caused substantial damage to a farmer’s barn, the loss of many straw bales and we understand many different crews from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service also attended.
“The news of large crowds of young people in a remote area, mixed with fire and outbuildings will turn most people cold. Farmers and landowners are no exception because they also understand that the large number of cars turning up could also potentially block the access for fire crews and the emergency services,” he said.
He also cited damage to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and disturbance to rare and protected ground nesting birds as a consequence of the raves.