Burton Latimer arson attack destroys £10,000 crop and hedgerow

Witnesses saw a group of young people at the scene

Monday, 25th July 2022, 3:01 pm

Firefighters battled to save a valuable wheat crop after seven acres of farmland, and 400m of hedgerow, were destroyed by a fire believed to have been started deliberately.

Investigations have carried out by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue (NFRS) and Northamptonshire Police after a group of young people were seen setting the fire in Burton Latimer.

Five fire engines from NFRS attended the fire affecting a field of crops in Cranford Road on Sunday evening (July 24).

Firefighters on the scene of the fire in fields off Cranford Road, Burton Latimer

When crews arrived they found a large hedgerow and the crops on fire, and that smoke was drifting across the A6 and towards the A14.

A spokesman for Northants Fire and Rescue said: “NFRS requested the attendance of Northamptonshire Police to close the A6 in both directions while the blaze was tackled.

“Firefighters used beaters, five hose reel jets and a main jet to bring the flames under control and prevent it from spreading further. They were also assisted with farming equipment being used to create a fire break.

“The A6 was reopened later in the evening once the incident had been scaled down, but crews continued to monitor temperatures throughout the night using thermal imaging cameras.

The fire near Burton Latimer

“Investigations have been carried out and at this stage it is believed the fire was started deliberately, with a number of young people allegedly seen setting the fire and running from the vicinity.”

Crews from Burton Latimer, Wellingborough, Earls Barton and Rushden were called at 7.59pm.

A spokesman for Northants Police said: “Between 7pm and 8.15pm on Sunday, July 24, in excess of £10,000 of wheat crops were destroyed along with hedgerows after being deliberately set on fire.

“It is believed the offender/s accessed the field via Woodland Drive in Burton Latimer, and officers would like to hear from anyone who may have captured anyone acting suspiciously in the area on CCTV, doorbell or dash-cam footage.”

Anyone with information to assist investigations is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The NFRS spokesman added: “Setting fires deliberately not only puts members of the public and our firefighters at risk, but it also puts the perpetrator most at risk.

“If you have any information about deliberate fire setting, please contact FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558.”