WATCH: Spectacular footage of huge crop fire on the edge of Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 17:18 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:38 17 July 2019
A enormous blaze broke out in east Ipswich today, with 18 fire engines rushing to scene.
Fire crews from across Suffolk rushed to Hall Road - off Foxhall Road and not far from the Foxhall recycling centre - after it was reported that 30 acres of crops were alight.
A spokesman from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service later said the area the fire had spread to was larger than first thought, and is now believed to have spread to 75 acres of farmland.
Eighteen crews were on scene at the height of the fire, with a request to Essex Fire and Rescue to send available crews to assist them.
The fire service water tanker and a Unimog all-terrain vehicle were also sent, allowing the crews to battle the fire more effectively.
A fire service spokesman said a plough had also been used to create a strip of turned land so the fire could be contained.
Suffolk Fire Service called a stop on the incident at around 5.05pm, but crews remained on scene to dampen down and check for hotspots.
Nigel Vincent, Group Commander South District, said: "We were called this afternoon at around 2.15pm to a field fire on Purdis Road/ Hall Road, Foxhall.
"When crews arrived it was a well established field fire in the area behind me, approximately 20 acres.
"The fire was flamed by quite a stiff breeze which hastened the fire across the field.
"We've had ten fire fighting appliances here along with our Unimog off-road vehicle which is now operating at the scene at the fire front damping down hotspots.
We've also had our water carrier here as well to ensure we have adequate water supplies to deal with the incident.
"The fire has been restricted to standing crop.
"It has got to the edge of a wooded area which has held the fire at check because it's still quite green.
"It is just, as you see, the standing crop was due for harvest and would obviously be a loss for the farmer at this point.
"It is unsure at the moment what actually caused the incident to happen but these things at this time of year can be quite prevalent in terms of if members of the public are not being mindful of the situation they are in and the fact that crops are very dry at this time of year
"It's also easy to ignite with things like discarded cigarettes or even hot exhausts off vehicles, which is always a problem for us.
"What we do ask, or Suffolk Fire Service do ask, is while people are using the countryside, going for walks, that they are very mindful at this time of year that things are very dry.
"They need to be extra vigilant and careful with their activities to make sure they are not introducing sources of ignition into dry crops like this where fire can easily occur."
A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Fires in the countryside can easily be started accidentally or even deliberately.
"A carelessly discarded cigarette can lead to a huge fire, where the results to wildlife and to a farmer's land can be devastating.
"We ask all members of the public to remain vigilant and follow some basic guidelines: Don't discard cigarettes in the countryside, don't leave any litter behind after a picnic or barbecue- including glass items, and do not light fires or barbecues in non-designated areas.
"We'd encourage everyone to report any fire immediately by dialling 999."
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