Halstead's fire crews have issued renewed safety advice to residents after an extremely busy month for the rural service.

Throughout July, firefighters from Halstead Fire Station attended 65 separate incidents across Essex and Suffolk, with more than half being outdoor blazes.

On Monday evening at 8pm, crews were called to White Colne where they used a hose reel jets and beaters to battle yet another field fire.

Bizarrely the fire, which took place at turkey farmers G & J Barron Farms, is believed to have started when a crow caught fire after flying into some electric cables above a field.

Firefighter Dominic Adams, who is based at Halstead Fire Station, said: “It’s normal for us to go to more fires during the summer, but this past month has been extremely busy.

“In July, we attended 65 incidents, 38 of them were fires outdoors.

“It’s not really surprising we have had so many field fires, the land is tinder dry and the patch we cover is the biggest rural area in Essex – there’s lots of farm land and open spaces.

“However, we would like to urge people to help us reduce the number of fires.”

Residents are being advised to follow basic safety procedures to prevent outdoor fires.

Cigarettes should be extinguished properly and not thrown out car windows.

Rubbish, especially glass, should be disposed of correctly, as should barbecues. Having bonfires during hot and dry weather conditions is also discouraged.

Mr Adams said: “We know lots of field fires are caused by cigarettes which have either been dropped or flicked out of car windows.

“But just a moment of carelessness can cause tragic and extensive damage to our countrywide.

“Our advice for all smokers is to – put it out, right out – and then dispose of your cigarette ends responsibly.”

All fires in the countryside should be reported immediately. Essex Fire and Rescue Service has warned against tackling fires which cannot be put out with one bucket of water without professional help.

Visit www.essex-fire.gov.uk.