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18 fire crews from Norfolk and Suffolk called to Burgate field fire



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Field fires have continued to tear through the Waveney Valley as temperatures reached the high 20s last weekend.

On 12:40pm on Sunday, a huge blaze broke out on a field just off Mellis Road, in Burgate.

18 fire crews were sent to the fire, which was carried across the field at speed by strong winds on the day.

Firefighters after the flames had been put out. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210938)
Firefighters after the flames had been put out. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210938)

Crews from Diss, Harleston, Hethersett, Long Stratton, East Harling, Thetford, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Stradbroke, Needham Market, Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth and Newmarket fire stations were dispatched to the scene.

Engines remained on the scene throughout the afternoon, as thick black smoke billowed into the north Suffolk skyline.

Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210936)
Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210936)

Tina Ewart, a former-firefighter who happened to be driving past at the time, described the scenes.

"It was horrible," she said. "Hot and windy.

"I was coming home from Bury and I saw the ploom of smoke and saw cars parked everywhere," she said.

Damage to the corn field was exacerbated by the strong winds on Sunday. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210934)
Damage to the corn field was exacerbated by the strong winds on Sunday. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210934)

"I saw it swooping from Mellis Road.

"You could hear it, too. It sounded like a really loud crackling sound.

"There was ambers flying everywhere.

"The scariest thing is when we saw the ploom of smoke coming towards my niece's house in Wortham, but the wind changed it which made it go inland.

Firefighters in the region have endured one of their busiest weeks ever. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210932)
Firefighters in the region have endured one of their busiest weeks ever. Picture: Tina Ewart (58210932)

"It’s likely the wind changed it which made it go inland.

"The farmers did a good job on helping to break it – they all congregated together and had a slurry pump.

"People were bringing water and everything."

The earlier that week provided one of the busiest periods in living memory for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

On Tuesday, July 19, alone, the service control room received 4,688 calls and attended 280 incidents.

The unprecedented level of demand triggered the declaration of a major incident – defined as an event or situation with a range of serious consequences, which requires special arrangements to be implemented.