Arson warning to Yorkshire’s farmers after hundreds of pigs die in blaze

FARMERS have been urged to take steps to reduce the risk of arson attacks on their farms following a deliberately-set blaze that result in the death of 370 pigs.

Humberside Fire Service

Farming machinery was also destroyed in the fire at Bridge Farm near Driffield last Monday. The fire was cause were more than 250 tons of straw bales were set alight by arsonists,

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Community safety manager at HFRS, Steve Duffield, said: “This is not an isolated incident at this time of year. As hay is harvested and straw stored, we urge farmers across the region take steps to ensure straw is stored safety to reduce the risk of deliberate fires.”

Humberside Police rural crime officer Julie Turrell said: “Why someone would deliberately set fire to a store of straw is difficult to comprehend. Taking precautions to prevent such incidents is one of the key factors in avoiding becoming a victim of such a crime.”

The forces have issued the following advice to farmers:

• Ensure the site where bales are stored is as secure as possible

• Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting, stored away from other buildings, in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart.

• Store away from livestock

• Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas; storage tank outlets should be padlocked. Fertilisers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key.

• Rubbish should be disposed of safely and on a regular basis.

• Electrical safety checks should be carried out and firefighting equipment should be check frequently.

• Prepare a fire routine and action plan to ensure all farm workers know what to do in the event of a fire.

• Ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished in an appropriate container.

• Where possible, regularly check and maintain open water supplies for firefighting.

If a fire does break out:

• Call the Fire and Rescue Service without delay.

• If possible, send someone to the farm entrance to direct the Fire and Rescue Service to the fire to help save time.

• Prepare to evacuate livestock should the fire spread.

• Prepare to use farm machinery to assist the Fire and Rescue Service.