Farming News - 'It's devastating' - farmers count cost of huge Lincolnshire blaze as 6 boys are arrested

'It's devastating' - farmers count cost of huge Lincolnshire blaze as 6 boys are arrested

07 Aug 2019
Frontdesk / Arable
A local Lincolnshire farming community has been praised for rushing to aid their neighbours when a huge crop fire swept through a field in Humberston.

The emergency services were called to a farmer's field off South Sea Lane in Humberston at around 5.45pm on Monday, after a huge fire broke out in the field, which eventually destroyed around 130 acres of crops.

The blaze has "devastated" an entire barley crop that was due to be harvested and sold this week after it was planted last October.

 
 
The aftermath of the field fire at Humberston, close to South Sea Lane, Church Lane, and the Beachcomber. The farming community has been praised for rushing to help the emergency services control the blaze (Image: Jon Corken/Grimsby Live)

Six 14-year-old boys from Humberston and Cleethorpes have been arrested by Humberside Police. It is thought to have been started deliberately.

A number of holiday makers were evacuated from their caravans in Thorpe park and the Beachcomber, as there were fears that the fire could spread to their sites, however it was brought under control by Humberside Fire and Rescue before this could happen.

Local farmers also rushed to the aid of the fire service, with one bringing a forklift to the field so that mounds of hay and barley could be moved away from the approaching inferno.

Sadly though this forklift also caught fire in the blaze and was destroyed.

The farmers who manage the field, Michael Horner and Sons, are now trying to recuperate their losses and early yesterday got to work on harvesting other fields.

They had lost six to seven hours of work on Monday and an entire barley crop.

Yasmin-Elizabeth Willerton, whose partner Jim Horner is one of the farmers who works on the field, said they have 'mixed emotions' following the fire, as despite the devastation they are thankful for the help that they received from the farming community and emergency services.

 
Firefighters in Humberston which was threatened by flames and smoke (Image: Humberside Fire & Rescue)

She said: "I think they're feeling a lot of mixed emotions, it's just two brothers that work all of their land with their dad overseeing it as he's semi-retired, so it's a lot of hard work and time away from families to get all of the work done.

"It is dreadful for someone to take an entire crop of winter barley away.

"Luckily it's an incredibly supportive farming community around here, which is why they managed to get help. The neighbouring farmer that came with his forklift helped to control the fire massively, because it was so dry and big the fire service were struggling.

"Sadly they've lost their forklift because of it so that's an impact on another farm already.

Damage caused by fire to fields in Humberston, seen from the South Sea Lane side
 
Damage caused by fire to fields in Humberston, seen from the South Sea Lane side (Image: Jon Corken/Grimsby Live)

"They're just incredibly grateful that the wind wasn't coming the other way into Humberston, there's a lot of livestock, houses and horses in that area that could have seriously suffered, it could have been really devastating.

"There have been a good few bale stacks set on fire in the Lincolnshire area, and that's three attempts they've had before succeeding  in taking hundreds of potential straw bales not to mention a high yield barley out of action, nothing can be done with that field until replanting and hoping for the best with next year's crop.

"The worrying thing that I would like to question is, who is enjoying setting things alight like that and will they do it again?

 
"It was devastating but lucky this time, we just have to hope it doesn't happen elsewhere."

Six 14-year-old boys from Cleethorpes and Humberston have been arrested following the incident.

Humberside Police spokesperson said: "We have arrested six teenage boys, from Cleethorpes and Humberston, in connection with a fire which set alight farm-land and crops on South Sea Lane in Cleethorpes on Monday evening.

"Holiday makers and at nearby holiday parks were evacuated from their mobile homes while the emergency services worked to bring the fire under control.

"If anyone has any information about this fire or saw anything that would help with our enquiries please call our non-emergency number 101 quoting log 480 05/08/19."