Hemswell

Twenty fire crews have been making daily visits on a 24 hour cycle to help put out the flames of over 200,000 straw bales at Hemswell Cliff.

Firefighters are expected to be on site until the end of the week while the material burns out, after a fire broke out at a former RAF base that is now used for agriculture on Learoyd Road.

It had originally been reported that the fire started on Thursday, but an area manager for Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue has now said the first blaze began on Monday, January 24.

It is believed that around 200,000 bales of straw went up in flames as the fire spread across the site due to gale force winds in the area.

Fire crews at the fire on Tuesday. | Photo: Long Sutton Fire Station


Read: Aerial footage: 200,000 hay bales up in flames as gale force winds wreak havoc in Hemswell


A cause for the fire is yet to be determined, and after firefighters declared it a major incident on Saturday, they are now predicting crews will be required on site to ensure the straw burns safely for the rest of the week.

Spencer Creek of Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue.

Spencer Creek, area manager for response at Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, told The Lincolnite of the tireless work done by the fire crews to control the blaze amid difficult circumstances.

He said: “We were called to the site on Monday (January 24) evening in relation to a fire around the wood clippings. That fire was extinguished but due to the size of the area we were called out the next day to another fire in a different location of the clippings.

“That was extinguished and monitored, but on the Wednesday a significant fire was identified that was difficult to access. With help from the people who own the product, we cleared materials from the runway to create fire breaks and stayed there 24 hours a day.”

There was a severe risk of further spread on Saturday, when a nearby firework storage space was discovered, but water curtains were put up by the fire crews.

The fire did, however, cause disruption in the area in the form of the popular Hemswell Sunday market being forced into cancellation.

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue are now saying there is no further resident risk for the fire, but a constant smoke plume risk that must be considered in the short term.

Mr Creek added that the weather was a huge factor in the spread of the flames, saying: “Heavy winds have caused fires to other stacks and we are unable to control that due to adverse weather conditions.

“Weather and the material itself that set alight are contributing factors to this issue, as well as location due to the fact it is not close to any water supply.

“The stack piles are currently burning and we are aiming to prevent further spread. Luckily now, the wind is accelerating the burn and we should be looking at the end of the week for it to fully burn out.

“I just want to say a huge thank you to the local residents for their patience and support, as well as Anglian Water for helping with water supply. Our guidance is still to keep windows and doors closed, which at this time of year isn’t necessarily a bad thing anyway.”

Hundreds of thousands of hay bales have now gone up in flames at Hemswell Cliff after gale force winds over the weekend wreaked havoc.

Ariel footage captured by Kev Taylor showed the extent of the fire yesterday afternoon – three days after an initial blaze saw 30,000 bales go up in smoke at a former RAF base, now used for agriculture, in Learoyd Road.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue remain at the scene and have warned the fire will continue burning for at least another week, with residents still advised to keep their windows and doors shut and take care on near by roads.

The fire also caused disruption to the popular Hemswell Sunday market over the weekend, which had to be cancelled as the blaze continued to send thick plumes of smoke into the air.

Fire crews this morning remain at the scene of a blaze that saw 30,000 hay bales go up in smoke yesterday afternoon.

The fire broke out at a former RAF base, now used for agriculture, in Learoyd Road, Hemswell Cliff at about 1pm on Thursday.

Residents were told to keep their windows and doors closed due to smoke drift, and that advice still remains in place.

At its peak, crews from Gainsborough, Louth, Lincoln North, Brant Broughton, Caistor, Saxilby and Market Rasen were all at the scene.

+ More stories