August 21, 2022 7.30 am This story is over 22 months old

Farmers better prepared for fires after firefighter training

Strategic water tanks will increase water availability

A fire that hit a farm in Louth in 2019 has inspired the training of 1,000 farmers over the last six months by the National Farmers’ Union and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue to better prepare for fires.

The farmers have been instructed to strategically place their water tanks so that firefighters have access to ten times the amount of water that is normally supplied by a fire engine at any given point across Lincolnshire’ farms.

It was the fire two years ago that made firefighters and farmers in the region realise they must work together. The blaze, which saw two large barns destroyed, took hold far from a hydrant – water sources that firefighters usually pump water from and were scarce thanks to the dry summer.

The fire at a Louth farm in 2019 has spurred on Lincs Fire & Rescue and the NFU to come together to prepare better for fires. | Screenshot: BBC Look North/BBC News Hub

Jamie Patton from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said: “You could be a long way from a decent water supply, a very long way. On each fire reply it’s roughly a 1,400 or 1,800 litre water tank on them [fire engines]. So when you’re looking at a field fire – in two and a half minutes it could be gone.”

Specially-engineered adaptors made in Lincolnshire are now available that attach a farmer’s water bowser to an appliance and instantly give firefighters access to ten times more water.

Rhonda Thompson, National Farmers’ Union: “It’s not just about crops: we had a fire a couple of weeks ago on the hottest day where we were metres from that hitting a grain store and a propane tank and there were four residential houses nearby.

“Knowing that there are farmers who have been trained – it makes you feel a lot safer.”

A Lincolnshire-made adaptor allowing firefighters to access 10 times more water. | Screenshot: BBC Look North/BBC News Hub

An example of a farmer’s water tank. Strategically placed, they can be very useful for firefighters. | Screenshot: BBC Look North/BBC News Hub