Arsonists slammed for risking lives with Haverhill fire

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A huge field fire on the outskirts of Haverhill is being treated as arson by the police.

Firefighters were called at 9.47pm on Monday to reports of a field fire at Great Wilsey Farm in Haverhill Road, Little Wratting.

Two appliances from Haverhill were mobilised. On arrival the crews found approximately 200 tonnes of baled straw, worth around £5,000, well alight, close to standing crops.

Relief crews aboard fire engines from Long Melford and Clare were sent later to take over from Haverhill.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the fire was put out by 12.16am, but crews remained on the scene. No injuries or casualties were reported.

One witness said: “It was burning for a long time. It was a huge fire.

“It was still burning the next morning, rather than just smoking.”

A police spokesperson said the fire was being treated as a case of arson.

Carl Francis, area commander for prevention and protection at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, warned that such incidents put the lives of the public, as well as those of firefighters, at risk and also divert resources away from other, non-deliberate, emergencies.

“It is a risk to us,” he said. “People don’t understand the risks when they start a fire deliberately or maliciously and the dangers associated with that.

“There are dangers to people from the fire and the smoke, which can affect road ways and residential areas.

“The spread of those fires is, also, obviously dangerous. People should realise what it is they are doing.

“There are consequences to these actions. We would encourage people to think.”

Anyone with information about Monday’s field fire should contact Haverhill police on 101, quoting reference HH/15/1867.