Suffolk: ‘Stay vigilant’ warning after spate of straw stack blazes

The public are being urged to remain vigilent

The public are being urged to remain vigilent - Credit:

People living in the Suffolk countryside have been urged to remain vigilant following a spate of what are believed to be deliberate straw stack fires.

Fires have been reported in Cretingham, on the outskirts of Framlingham, and Ashbocking, near Ipswich, within the last two weeks.

Straw stacks are typically targeted by arsonists during July and October, with the resulting fires costing farming businesses thousands of pounds – as well as causing huge disruption to rural communities and motorists.

CLA eastern regional director Nicola Currie said: “Deliberate straw stack fires destroy important material used in arable and livestock farming, as well as a valuable renewable energy source – it’s not just a by-product.

“These fires can spread rapidly threatening buildings, livestock, machinery, and potentially human lives.”

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Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer PC Mark Bryant said: “It is now prime time for problems with all the straw, which has now been harvested but not delivered.

“Stacks often have to be located next to tracks or roadways to allow lorries to have access, but this unfortunately also allows access to people who wish to set fire to them. We advise that wherever possible there should be fewer more isolated stacks with generally increased security – this could include restricting access to farm tracks.”

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Any information regarding suspicious activity in the countryside around straw stacks should be reported by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, if your concerned about criminal activity in the rural community contact the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number: 0800 555 111.

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