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King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and Breckland police fear more destructive fires like Ashill and Brancaster due to heat and sun

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This has been a very busy and challenging month, dominated by the record-breaking heatwave which brought with it multiple fires across the county.

Unfortunately, the King’s Lynn and West and Breckland districts did not escape destructive fire incidents breaking out on Tuesday, July 19 along with the closure of the A11 between Besthorpe and Thickthorn due to road surface damage caused by the extreme heat.

Our emergency service colleagues in Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service led the response to several field fires across the county, and particularly for us in Ashill (pictured) and Brancaster, where fire spread to nearby homes causing significant damage and destroying some properties.

Ashill, On The Beat, July 2022.
Ashill, On The Beat, July 2022.

Our officers assisted with road closures and carried out prompt and safe evacuations, stepping up to the challenge in really demanding conditions as they supported our firefighter colleagues, staying on extended duty to work alongside our emergency service colleagues to manage incidents which were unprecedented.

The destruction of homes and property has been devastating, not just for those residents directly affected but for the wider community also.

However, it was no surprise to me to see community groups rallying into action, setting up help hubs and donation collection points.

Devastating fire in Ashill village near Swaffham. MLNF-22MF070242
Devastating fire in Ashill village near Swaffham. MLNF-22MF070242

As such I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our emergency service workers who worked those two difficult days of Monday 18th and particularly Tuesday 19th and in particular to all our communities who supported and continue to assist those affected by the fires.

While it is notably cooler now and there is no longer a red weather warning in place, the county continues to experience hot and dry weather conditions, meaning the risk of field fires remains high and so I would ask that you all please take measures to stay safe and look out for one another in these extreme conditions.

Supt Wes Hornigold

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