Recent barn fire highlights risk to the countryside in dry weather

25th June

The East Sussex Fire Brigade report that every year in the UK, 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 acres of grassland are destroyed by fire. The hot, dry weather has resulted in parched areas on verges, in fields and woods leading to a serious increase in the risk of fires starting in the Heathfield area. Now, is definitely the time to be extra careful, as local equitherapist, Elaine Mariani, described what happened to their barn last night.

“Our hay barn went up in flames at 1 a.m. this morning and it is only thanks to the prompt attendance of our amazing Heathfield fire fighters that the stables and outbuildings didn’t go too. I don’t think it coincidence that a cyclist came down at half past midnight on his bike, clearly smoking. Thanks who ever you are. Three fire engines and many fire fighters were in attendance until 6 a.m. and are having to come back several times today to damp it back down and we have lost all our hay barn. Our main problem is that we have no hay for our horses now and nowhere to put the hay we are about to harvest.

The firemen have reported the fire as deliberate.”

Her CCTV picture would appear to show someone riding past on a bike cycling and most probably smoking; the Fire Brigade advise people to be extra careful at this time of year. A moment of thoughtlessness or careless behaviour can result in catastrophic consequences, so it is worth being extra vigilant if you smoke or when you are around BBQs and outdoor flares and candles.

To find out more read the Fire Brigade’s advice.