Advice issued following four East Sussex barn fires in six days

A reminder on fire prevention has been issued after fires broke out at four farms in East Sussex in six days.

Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are currently investigating four barn and hay bale fires on farms in Alfriston, Litlington, Beddingham and Tarring Neville – which happened between November 2-7.

A fire service spokesperson said, “The fires have been deliberately set by suspects targeting roadside barns and hay bale stocks.”

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Anyone with information is asked to contact police either online or by calling 101, quoting serial 244 of 07/11.

A large haystack on fire in Whiteway, Alfriston. Photo: Dan Jessup SUS-210511-075727001

David Washington, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service station manager for Lewes and Barcombe, said, “While arson attacks on farms and smallholdings may be difficult to eliminate completely, a number of simple precautions can increase safety.”

The fire service suggests that fuels are stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets are padlocked.

Residents are also encouraged to store hay separately from other buildings, particularly housing livestock, fuel and machinery.

Fertilisers and pesticides should also be locked away and unoccupied areas should be regularly checked to ensure they are safe and secure, according to the fire service.

The spokesperson also suggested residents dispose of refuse safely and on a regular basis.

If anybody sees a fire on their farm they are encouraged to call 999, send someone to the entrance to direct the emergency services, prepare to evacuate livestock should the fire spread and prepare to use machinery to assist the emergency crews.