Field of fire

This is something you don’t see every day – your neighbour’s field on fire. Although it turns out that this is more common than you’d think.

I was taking the rubbish to the communal bins when I passed what seemed like the aftermath of a battle. There were burning objects all over the field. Most of them turned our to be straw bales. One was the baling machine itself, guttering like a shelled tank.

My neighbour and other local farmers were dashing around the field in tractors, some with ploughing attachments, and a digger trying to stop the flames spreading too far. As it was, the fire had reached across an area at least 100m wide, perhaps as a result of a burning bale rolling down the slope. There was one burning on the far side of the field.

Not long after I started taking pictures the local (volunteer) fire brigade turned up and dealt with the problem.

A friend told me he knew of at least three other such fires in the local area recently. It seems they can start when heat builds up inside an inadequately maintained baler. Straw bales have even been known to spontaneously ignite.

There are more images in the Sketchbook section.


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