The hot weather has created an extra hazard for this year’s harvest as the rate of combine fires has doubled.
Firefighters have been called to 12 blazes which have damaged combines within the last eight weeks compared to the six reported last year.
Six crews were called to the most recent fire on Monday evening when a combine was badly damaged in Weasenham All Saints.
Earlier in the day, a tractor and baler caught fire in Mill Road in Walpole Highway.
Lynn Fire Station manager Tim Edwards has put the problem down to the hot weather and the delayed harvest.
He said: “Combine fires are heavily dependent on the weather conditions.
“After prolonged spells of hot, dry weather straw can easily catch fire and if this happens in an area of standing crops then this can spread particularly quickly.
“As this summer has been warmer and drier than in recent years, we have seen an increase in combine fires.
“Also, because of the cold, wet weather earlier in the year this year’s crop is being harvested later than usual.
“This means that there is an increased level of intense activity leading to a greater risk of fire.
“Farmers are all too aware of the risks of combine fires but we would ask them to mitigate that risk by being vigilant, observant and providing first aid firefighting measures where they can.”
Chairman of the West Norfolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union Ed Lankfer has heard reports of fires being sparked by combine headers hitting flint.
He said: “Farmers only get paid once a year and if the crop catches fire then you have spent a year working for nothing.
“Hopefully you are insured. But I know from talking to others it is not just a case of putting a call in.”
Last year, insurance company NFU Mutual paid out more than £2 million after receiving a total of 105 claims for combine fire nationally.
Tim Price, NFU Mutual’s rural affairs specialist, said: “We know of around half a dozen fires in West Norfolk so far this harvest.
“These include a combine fire which spread to around six acres on barley near Narborough and a 100-acre blaze in a corn field off Ramsgate Street, Edgefield, near Holt, again started by a fire in a combine harvester.
“The countryside is now extremely dry so it’s important that farmers take all possible steps to keep combines and other machines clear of chaff and to stop immediately if machines start to overheat.
We sometimes see more fires towards the end of harvest, when farmers are working mostly with wheat crops and both they and their machinery are getting weary after weeks of working long hours.”