Firefighters have warned the Wiltshire countryside is ‘tinder dry’ following the recent heatwave.
From August 1-10, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 180 fires in the open, compared with just 34 over the same period last year.
Last Wednesday crews from Stratton St Margaret and Westlea fire stations were called to Minety after a combine harvester burst into flames.
Landowners have been advised to be prepared for fires while farmers are urged to keep their machinery well maintained.
Group manager Stuart Gillion said: “After months of warm and dry weather, our countryside areas are tinder dry. This not only increases the risk of fires spreading quickly but also increases the risk of ignition.
“We are urging local farmers to take extra care, as sparks from hot machinery can easily lead to a field catching fire, and we ask everyone enjoying our beautiful countryside to take extra care and be vigilant with anything that could lead to a fire starting.”
“Dealing with wildfires is incredibly resource-intensive, and some can take days – and even weeks – to bring under control. Alongside the devastating impact on the countryside, such fires are also very costly, and yet they can be prevented if people heed the warnings and take care.”