‘Suspicious’ fires destroy 200 tonnes of baled hay
Fire crews were called to three ‘suspicious’ blazes in Bilsington soon after midnight on Friday after bales of hay were set alight.
A member of the public dialled 999 after seeing the flames in Newchurch Road.
The fire service sent one pump and a Fogging Unit to tackle the fires and the farm owner used a mechanical digger to help break up the hay bales so firefighters could get to the seat of the fires.
The Fogging Unit is a special all-terrain 4x4 that uses a hose attached to a lance to tackle deep seated fires in hard-to-reach areas that a fire engine would struggle to get close to.
The inferno destroyed around 200 tonnes of hay – the farmer used his own machinery as a bar- rier to stop the rest of the field going up in flames.
A fire service spokesman said: “Fire crews were called to the scene at 12.07am on Friday. There were three different hay bale stacks on fire from two different farms within half-a-mile of each other.
“We sent one pump and a Fog- ging Unit to the incident as the 4 x 4 is a good way to get to outdoor scenes where engines struggle to get to.
“The Fogging Unit was used to attack one and they used a mechanical digger to help break up the stacks to gain access to the fire.
“Officers waited for the fire to burn out while under control and were at the scene until 2.07pm on Friday.
“We do not know how it started but the time of day it started makes us think it must be malicious.
“We have sent a fire officer to do an inspection and investigation.”
Police believe the incident could possibly be linked to recent barn fires on the Isle of Sheppey.
A police spokesman said: “Officers will be making inquiries to establish the circumstances.”
Firemen still at the scene of a fire in a field in Newchurch Road Bilsington
The fire in a field in on the B2067 and Boat Lane Bonnington
A Fogging Unit used by Kent Fire and Rescue Service for deep-seated fires