Fire destroys crop in massive blaze near coast path
- Credit: Archant
Firefighters were called to tackle a major fire in a corn field on the coastal path near Salcombe Regis.
Crews from Sidmouth were among those to attend the site at Dunscombe Cliff.
The blaze broke out at 11.27am last Friday (July 31) – just hours before the farmer was planning to cut the crop.
With no water supply nearby, a 1,000-litre-capacity bowser was deployed from the fire service’s Exeter HQ, as were crews from Sidmouth and Seaton.
Firefighters used six hose jet reels to tackle the blaze and it was extinguished by 12.29pm.
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Half of the 37-acre field of standing corn was destroyed.
Figures from AHDB, a cereals and oilseeds specialist, suggested that the crop, assuming it was wheat used to feed animals, could have been worth around £6,000.
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Sidmouth Fire Station watch manager Sean Faulkner said: “It was quite a big one and access was quite difficult.
“The field was well alight when we got there.
“The wind worked in our favour.
“Had it been going in a different direction, it would’ve been a different story.
“The farmer turned up to cut it down while we were there.
“It was really unfortunate timing.”
Mr Faulkner said he does not believe the fire was started deliberately as it was at the end of the field furthest from the coastal path.
He asked walkers to take care when disposing of litter along the route.
A cigarette butt or even a discarded glass bottle could start a blaze, warned Mr Faulkner.