Police hunt arsonists after 'malicious' farm fire

The suspected arson attack has resulted in a financial loss to a farmer, police said
The suspected arson attack has resulted in a financial loss to a farmer, police said

Police are hunting for those responsible after a 'malicious fire' destroyed 50 bales of straw in a suspected arson attack over the weekend.

The blaze started on a farm near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders at around 9pm on Saturday (31 August).

Around £750 worth of bales of straw were destroyed as a result of the fire.

PC Ian Porter said: “This is suspected to be a malicious fire raising that has resulted in financial loss to a farmer within a rural community.

“In addition, this kind of incident causes significant risk to the safety of the public and our colleagues at the Scottish Fire Service.

“We are keen to hear from anybody who saw any suspicious activity within Greenlaw and the surrounding area during the evening.

“If you believe you can help us identify those responsible then please get in touch.”

Elsewhere, fire crews attended a large fire at a Derbyshire farm on Sunday (1 September) shortly after 6am.

Three large barns containing large quantities of straw, farming equipment and livestock were on fire at the Dale Abbey property.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

Last week, firefighters spent over thirty hours battling a blaze at a farm in Powys, Wales.

Fire prevention tips

• Ensure there are sufficient fire extinguishers for the size of buildings and that materials stored are inspected and regularly maintained

• Ensure all staff including seasonal workers and adult family members know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them

• Reduce the risk of arson by fencing-off straw stacks and farm buildings

• Store hay and straw at least 10m from other buildings

• Put in place an evacuation plan for staff and livestock

• Store petrol, diesel and other fuels in secure areas

• Schedule regular electrical safety checks

• Invite your local fire and rescue service to visit to check water supplies and access routes

If a fire breaks 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 your farm machinery to assist the Fire and Rescue Service