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Firefighters battle massive crop blaze in Hengrave in one of their busiest days of the heatwave

Firefighters were called to Mildenhall Woods. Picture: @MildnhallPolice
Firefighters were called to Mildenhall Woods. Picture: @MildnhallPolice

Firefighters battled a massive crop blaze in West Suffolk in one of their busiest days so far during the summer heatwave.

Twelve fire engines fought the flames which engulfed 40 acres of crops and spread to some trees in Bury Road, Hengrave, on Tuesday.

They were alerted at 12.38pm and it took nearly three hours to bring the fire under control as crews received help from farmers who created breaks within the crop using tractors and harvesters.

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue service said the blaze was caused by the hot weather.

Fire at Hengrave (2847661)
Fire at Hengrave (2847661)

Just minutes after responding to the Hengrave incident, firefighters were called at 12.43pm to a blaze involving 600 metres of woodland and undergrowth at Mildenhall Woods.

It took about three hours for six engines and a water carrier to bring the incident under control.

Four engines also dealt with a forest fire at Brandon Country Park earlier in the day at 11.52am.

The fire, caused by the hot weather, was under control within about half an hour.

Further incidents during the day included blazes involving 33 acres of stubble and a combine harvester in Bramford; 100 metres of grass verge in Farnham; stubble and grass in Uggeshall as well as two collisions.

Cllr Richard Rout, cabinet member for environment and public protection for Suffolk County Council, said he wanted to give ‘a special mention’ to the employers of on-call firefighters.

“The willingness of employers to release their staff for firefighter duties is a fantastic tribute to their community spirit and allows us to keep Suffolk safe,” he said.

Mark Hardingham, chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue, added: “With the extreme hot and dry weather to continue throughout the Wimbledon fortnight, the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service encourages everyone to be extra vigilant.

“Be aware of fire risks when you are out in the open, especially near to standing crop, crop stubble or trees and undergrowth, all of which is currently tinder dry.”

Those enjoying barbecues in the open are also advised to be aware of their safety and surroundings and to extinguish them properly.

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