Shropshire Countryside Fire Warning

A field of straw ablaze at a Shropshire farm in the summer of 2016
A field of straw ablaze at a Shropshire farm in the summer of 2016
21st July, 2017

 

Fire officers are warning people to take care in the countryside as more than 50 fires have been reported so far this month.

Hedgerows, trees, fields of straw, farm machinery, a hay barn, gorse and grassland have gone up in flames in numerous incidents across the county.

Some fires have been caused deliberately while the “tinder dry” countryside caused by the hot, dry summer has led to fires breaking out in Ellesmere, Oswestry, Market Drayton, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Church Stretton, Cleobury Mortimer and Telford. 

In June there were 40 deliberate fires across the county, up eight from the same month last year.

“Many of these latest fires in July have not been deliberate but some have been caused by carelessness with cigarettes and bonfires which have got out of control,” said Derek Taylor, of Shropshire Fire and Recue Service.

“The countryside has been tinder dry this summer and it has taken very little to set it alight.

“We urge people not to have bonfires when the ground is so dry and for farmers to ensure farm vehicles with warm engines are kept well away from combustible materials.

“We may be getting some rainfalls at the moment but the ground is still dry and with more hot days to look forward to in August we are appealing to everyone to be aware of the fire risk.”

Shropshire firefighters have assisted colleagues in neighbouring Welsh, Worcestershire  and Cheshire counties to put out countryside blazes in July.

In just one day on July 17, Shropshire firefighters dealt with a total of ten fires across the Shropshire countryside including a field of barley ablaze at Caynham, Ludlow, a large section of blazing hedge and grass at Worfield and a fire on the old racecourse in Oswestry caused by an unattended camp fire. Other incidents have also been caused by out of control garden bonfires.

Earlier this week (July 18) five fire appliances from Baschurch, Shrewsbury, Wem and Whitchurch attended two large fields of cut and baled straw ablaze at Harmer Hill, Shrewsbury. Firefighters used beaters and six fire hoses to put out the fires which damaged half the straw in a ten acre field and caused 40 per cent damage to a five acre field. 40 bales were also destroyed.

A barn stocked with 200 bales of hay was destroyed in Church Stretton while another fire crew transported tonnes of water from a hydrant to put out and damp down a 40 metre x 60 metre stretch of undergrowth at Bridal Coppice in Bridgnorth earlier this month.

Golfers had an extra hazard in their sights at Llanymynech Golf Club when a grass fire broke out in the hot weather in which Oswestry firefighters assisted the Mid and West Wales fire service. Another small fire also broke out in a Telford playpark when rubbish caught fire.