Haystack blaze left to burn sparks further calls

Picture by Eddie Mitchell
Picture by Eddie Mitchell

FIREFIGHTERS were continuing to receive emergency calls about a fire in a haystack five days after it broke out.

The blaze, which was started deliberately, ripped through around 150 bales on farmland in Halewick Lane, Sompting, last Sunday evening.

The fire service made the area safe and opted to let the bales burn out on their own.

On Friday, Worthing fire chief Roy Barraclough said the fire had been burning all week.

“It’s on private land and we are leaving it to burn, but we are still getting calls in to us,” said Mr Barraclough.

He said haystack fires of this size were very difficult to put out, and as there was no risk of it spreading, officers had decided to let it run its course.

“We may well have to go back again,” he said.

“When we have a call we have to go to make sure.”

Although the original call came in on the Sunday, firefighters from Bognor and Shoreham were back the following Tuesday, using drag rakes, beaters and farm machinery to break up the bales which were still burning.

Two boys, aged 12 and 13, were arrested on suspicion of arson following the incident.

The pair were released on bail until April 25.