News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is once again issuing a reminder to take care in the countryside following a large field fire in West Malling yesterday evening (Tuesday).
At it’s height five fire engines were at the scene of the blaze on Windmill Lane shortly after 6pm where approximately three acres of standing corn was destroyed.
Firefighters used hose reel jets, flex packs, and fire beaters to tackle the flames and then remained on the scene damping down the area to prevent further fire outbreak. Farm machinery was also used as a fire break.
The fire is believed to have been started deliberately due to multiple seats of fire being discovered.
Community Safety Manager, Stuart Skilton, said: “Outdoor fires continue to be a major issue for our crews as they can spread easily and destroy thousands of acres of countryside, crops and wildlife habitats. This puts enormous demands on our resources as well as posing a serious threat to lives and homes.”
“We are appealing to people to ensure that they take extra care not to start fires, whether it is simply disposing of cigarettes in a responsible manner, to being fire safe with outdoor activities such as camping and barbecuing. Parents can help us by reminding their children of how starting a fire could mean a huge fine or even a prison sentence. By following our simple safety tips you will help protect the countryside, and help to prevent fires starting in the first place.”
Keep matches and lighters out of the way of children and remind them that they are not toys
If you are a parent you are strongly advised not to leave young people to wander in the countryside unsupervised. Ensure that they are aware of the dangers of fire
Don't light fires in the countryside or drop litter which could be set alight
Don't accumulate rubbish which can act as potential fuel for deliberate fire setters
Contact your local district or borough council to arrange collection of unwanted furniture, or to report abandoned vehicles or fly tipped waste (Clean Kent 24 hour reporting line – 0845 345 0210)
Report any information about illegal fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further fire safety advice go to www.kent.fire-uk.org or call 0800 923 7000.