50 fight field fire

A CIGARETTE discarded from a passing vehicle is believed to have been responsible for a field fire that took 50 firefighters almost three hours to extinguish. During the blaze covering almost 100 acres at High Heath Farm, Codicote, on Tuesday afternoon, p

A CIGARETTE discarded from a passing vehicle is believed to have been responsible for a field fire that took 50 firefighters almost three hours to extinguish.

During the blaze covering almost 100 acres at High Heath Farm, Codicote, on Tuesday afternoon, police and ambulance services also had to deal with a three-car crash on the nearby B656 as dense smoke reduced visibility to only a few yards and flames threatened to cross the road and ignite adjoining fields.

Twelve people were treated for minor injuries and ambulance crews used a nearby house in Driver's End Lane where they were looked after. Only one male casualty was taken to Lister Hospital.

A police helicopter was called in to monitor the blaze from the air.


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Firefighters from nine stations tackled the blaze which was whipped up by strong winds as it spread through standing corn, stubble and woodland.

Divisional Officer Paul Drakes said: "At this stage we believe the fire started accidentally. The most likely cause is a discarded cigarette, which had not been put out properly. I would urge people not to throw cigarettes out of their windows as the ground is extremely dry at the moment and the results can be devastating."

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Also on Tuesday, 12 hectares of standing crop caught fire close to Weston Woods off Hatch Lane, Baldock. It took almost 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

Fire crews were called out yesterday (Wednesday) morning to a field fire at Lilley Bottom in Kings Walden involving 20 hectares of stubble.

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