Farmers are being urged to take extra care as farm fire reach and five year high.

A starke warning has been issued to farmers round the county after it was announced that farm fires cost a whopping £49 million in 2019.

The National Farmers Union are pleading with farmers to take precautions and have an emergency plan in place.

A spokesman for the union said: “We are urging farmers to check their fire precautions and to have an emergency plan in place. In 2019 farm fires cost a staggering £49 million, with electrical faults accounting for over half of the fires . 2020 looks like being on track to being worse .

“Farm fires put the lives of people and animals at risk as well as having huge emotional and financial impacts on the farmers and their families.

“We can also provide a Fire Risk assessment by our qualified risk management team.

“They are available to visit and carry out a full assessment and help you to get everything in place to prevent a fire on your farm.”

Hoping to combat future risks a spokesman for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: “Every year in the UK 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 areas of grassland are destroyed by fire.

“Fifty per cent of these fires are started deliberately, either as an act of mindless vandalism or a fraudulent insurance claim. A serious fire on a farm can affect the financial stability of even the most well run business.

“Forty per cent of businesses that suffer arson attacks never trade successfully again.

“Farms are particularly vulnerable to arson, their isolated location; open boundaries, readily ignitable hay and straw make them an easy target.

“While arson attacks on farms and small holdings may be difficult to eliminate, a number of simple precautions can substantially reduce the risk of attack.

“Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting.

“A simple quick survey around the farm will identify areas where an arsonist could strike, ask the crime prevention officer for assistance.”

Hay and straw should be stored separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery.

They should be in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart. They should also be separate from livestock housing.

Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas.