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Claydon farmer heartbroken after fourth fire in 10 days

Published:
2:57 PM August 9, 2022



A local farmer has said she is “heartbroken” after a fourth fire in 10 days destroyed a standing crop of wheat and straw on land her family worked on.

Liz Hitchcock, her husband Guy, and her daughter Katherine, rushed to tackle the blaze in a field belonging to Blakenham Farms, just off Old Ipswich Road, on Friday.

“People don’t realize just how dangerous the situation is at the moment”, she said.

“It’s horrible.

“It’s so dry that the fire just keeps spreading.”


Liz Hitchcock said she is “heartbroken” after a fourth fire in 10 days devastated her land

– Credit: Archant

Mrs Hitchcock is one of many land workers across Suffolk to have experienced large fires in recent weeks.

Suffolk Police say the cause of such incidents are ranging from soaring temperatures to potential arson.

“Someone is going to get hurt”, said Mrs. Hitchcock.

“It’s so dangerous. Not only for us, but for those nearby.

“If one of the fires we had was slightly lower down the field, it would have potentially taken out half of Claydon village.”

The farmer said her family is living in constant worry of another incident.

Living almost 10 miles from the area, news of another blaze in the county causes the family to rush to the fire brigade’s website to check the location.

“Whenever we see smoke in that direction, we drop everything to get there as soon as possible.

“We’re living on constant tenterhooks and it’s causing us so much stress.”

Mrs. Hitchcock emphasized the amount of waste being caused by such incidents, and said the environmental devastation is irreversible.

She said: “One of the worst feelings is standing there and seeing a crop you’ve been growing for a year just go up in flames.

“The impact it’s having on the environment is just devastating.

“We’re seeing trees and whole hedgerows burn.

“You can’t replace that.

“It’s heartbreaking.”

Speaking after the fire, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s station manager Coldwell said: “On arrival crews were faced with approximately 12 acres of cut and standing crop well alight to the rear of the Hillside Business Park.

“Due to the rapid fire growth crews quickly increased the number of pumps at the scene to eight.

“Crews have been working hard to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring fields.”

The fire service also asked people to take care if having an open barbeque and when putting out cigarettes due to the dry conditions and large amount of standing crop.

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