THE moment a fire broke out on a farm near Stonehenge has been described as "very frightening". 

The blaze broke out at Springbottom Farm, Wilsford, yesterday afternoon (Saturday, August 6).

Ed Bailey, of Springbottom Farm, said it was "very frightening indeed" but that "nobody was hurt, and no machinery lost". 

He says the fire broke out when they were cutting wheat and the "combine started playing up", which they managed to drive out of the field.

He said: "On turning to go and fetch the tractor and trailer I saw flames in the wheat. Dialled 999, raced to get the water bowser/pump. On returning it is immediately apparent that the bowser is redundant, the fire has taken hold and is spreading rapidly.

"By this time the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are already on scene, as is a tractor and cultivator from Huntley Agriculture, which is making a fire break. I return with a cultivator and back up the other tractor."

Mr Bailey says that in a "very short space of time 35 acres of wheat has disappeared, literally gone up in smoke".

He has praised the "heroic efforts" of the fire service and Huntley Agriculture who helped to contain and put out the fire. 

"Many thanks to all the neighbours and friends and even complete strangers who came to help, contacted us and the many many offers of help," added Mr Bailey. 

Salisbury Journal:

Picture by: Springbottom Farm

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service received report of a crop fire near Woodford Valley Road, Lake at 3.53pm.

Two crews from Salisbury along with a fire crew from Amesbury, fire engines with off-road capability from Poole and Christchurch, a small 4x4 pumping appliance from Cranborne, and water carriers from Wilton and Andover attended the incident which involved a field of standing crop.

The fire was extinguished by around 5.50pm and all fire appliances had left the scene by 6.30pm.

Salisbury Journal:

Picture by: Springbottom Farm

Around, 40 minutes later the fire service received another report of a field fire in Downton

A fire service spokesperson said: "We received a call at 4.32pm yesterday afternoon about a fire in the open on Salisbury Road, Downton.

"Crews from Shaftesbury, Cricklade, Springbourne, Christchurch, Verwood, Eastleigh and Ringwood attended the incident which involved a field fire measuring approximately 10 acres and 200m of hedgerow.

"The fire was extinguished using six hose reel jets."

Salisbury Journal:

Downton fire Picture: Verwood Fire Station/DWFRS 

The incident was dealt with by around 6.10pm. But a crew from Shaftesbury remained on scene dampening down hotspots until just before 9pm.

In a post on Facebook Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Fires outside are a massive concern for us at the moment, with the conditions so dry and no rain in sight."

Last month, it attended 339 fires in the open, compared to 120 last July – an increase of 182 per cent.

There was also a 30 per cent increase in calls received by fire control.

The post added: "Please help us by doing all you can to prevent fires."