Fireworks warning after Market Deeping farmland blaze
People have been warned to take care around farmers’ fields after a stray firework set almost an acre of wheat alight.
Firefighters were called to tackle the blaze in a field off Duke Meadows in Market Deeping at about midnight on Sunday.
A large area of wheat had caught fire and the flames were spreading quickly.
The field is right next to a housing estate and people were being told to leave their houses and move their cars in case it spread further.
Thankfully no-one was hurt and the fire did not spread to any buildings, but roughly an acre of wheat was destroyed.
Police found firework packaging at the scene and are treating the fire as arson.
A spokesman said: “We’d like to speak to anyone who knows anything about the fire. This may have been a prank gone wrong but it could have been quite serious.”
The farmer, who asked not to be named, was thankful the damage was not too serious.
But they said it could have been a lot worse and urged people to think before they used fireworks, Chinese lanterns or other incendiary materials near crop fields.
“It could have been very serious if the wind had been in another direction.
“And luckily the fire brigade came and put it out pretty promptly.
“If the whole field had gone up it would have been a big loss to us.”
The farmer said people sometimes didn’t understand that dangers posed by sparks near crops, particularly during the dry summer months.
They added: “I don’t suppose they realised that it would go up like that.
“You only need a discarded cigarette and a whole stack of straw can go up.
“We have had two or three straw fires in the last few years from children mucking about.”
The National Farmers’ Union county advisor for Lincolnshire, Andrew Wilson, said the cost to farmers of crop fires could be huge.
“The farmer has spent all that time and money growing the crop and then it’s suddenly lost.
“Sometimes these can be uninsurable losses.
“Anyone using fireworks, particularly at this time of year, should make sure they are nowhere near farmland.
“These are often remote locations and it can be very difficult for the fire brigade to put fires out.”
Mr Wilson said it was not just a field of wheat that was going up in smoke, but the livelihood of a farmer.
“It’s a field of wheat and until it’s harvested it’s a lot of money for the farmer,” he added.
The fire brought many people out of their homes. One, Mark Cook, of Countess Road, said he was woken up by a firework going off, so went outside to see the light of the fire reflected on the houses in his street.
“It was shocking to see how fast it spread,” he said.
Police have appealed for anyone who knows about the fireworks to come forward. Call 101 quoting incident 5 of August 3 with information.