Farmers urged to help combat arson

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Farmers in the Horncastle area are being urged to reduce their chances of being a victim of arson during harvest time.

Straw stacks are typically targeted during July and October.

The fires cost farming businesses thousands of pounds – as well as causing huge disruption to rural communities.

However, the County Landowners’ Association (East) - which covers the Horncastle region - says farmers can take precautionary measures to reduce the risk.

CLA Eastern regional surveyor Claire Wright said: “The summer time and harvest are exceptionally busy times on farms.

“Deliberate fire setting causes untold problems for farmers – and the people involved show no thought of the consequences.

“Deliberate straw stack fires destroy important material used in arable and livestock farming.

“They can spread rapidly, threatening buildings, livestock, machinery, and, potentially, human lives.

“These fires also keep fire and police service personnel tied up for hours when they may be needed to attend an emergency elsewhere.

“We hope by raising awareness with Lincolnshire Police we can reduce the number of these incidents.”

Lincolnshire Police, which is supporting the CLA’s appeal, has warned anyone suspected of deliberately starting any such fire will be “robustly investigated”.

Farmers are advised to remove hay and straw from the field as soon as possible and to stack bales away from buildings that house livestock or have chemicals and fuel stored inside.

If possible, bales should be kept out of view from public roads.