Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is rolling out ‘banjo’ fire and rescue adaptors, to help them tackle fires in rural areas, such as field fires. It follows discussions with the CLA and other rural organisations.
Every fire appliance in Norfolk is being issued with both male and female adaptors which will enable them to connect to water bowsers when dealing with incidents. It will allow them to access water quicker, enabling them to attack fires more efficiently and effectively.
The fire and rescue service has also highlighted the following steps to help reduce the risk of field fires:
- The rule of 30’s. Extreme wildfire conditions exist when the temperature is over 30°C, winds are over 30kph and relative humidity is below 30%. Farmers should consider harvesting when these conditions subside.
- Once headlands have been cut, consider cutting firebreaks through sections of the field e.g through the middle then the quarters. this will slow the rate of spread, should a fire occur.
- The wind will be the driving force if a fire starts, commencing harvesting from a downwind position will mean that any fire will only affect stubble rather than standing crop.
- Consider that fire will spread uphill quicker than downhill so if possible start at the top and work downhill.
- Early cultivation close to property is the best course of action you could take to prevent any fire crossing from the rural to the urban interface.
- Have a bowser, cultivator or slurry tank close by whilst harvesting. If you do need to cultivate a firebreak or spread water, ensure that have a clear escape route but do not put yourself in danger.
- If you notice smoke from a combine or tractor, stop the engine before investigating but make sure that you do not leave your mobile phone in the cab, if there is a fire contact 999 before attempting to extinguish it.
- When calling 999 give the best access to the field using the What3Words location system, (it would be a good idea to have these recorded for all fields on a card in every farm vehicle). Send someone to the nearest road to direct fire crews to the scene.