Farmer ploughs crops metres from wildfire in heroic bid to save houses

gif showing the farmer driving past the flames

Incredible footage shows how a farmer ploughed through a field of crops to chop them down just metres from a wall of flame.

Bill Alexander could see that the flames were approaching towards homes in Kent, and stepped in to try and reduce how much there was that it could burn.

The blaze had already consumed almost 20 acres of lane in Lenham Heath, between Maidstone and Ashford, in Kent just before 3.15pm yesterday.

It came days after fierce blazes destroyed homes during last week’s record-breaking heatwave.

The fire in Kent yesterday was eventually put out with no injuries to people.

Andy Barr, who owns the Kent farm in the video, said his ‘good neighbour’ was a ‘hero’.

Sharing a photo on Twitter, he said: ‘Please tell everyone to be careful what they do along roads and paths, 20ha of spring barley up in flames.

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Bill Alexander ⁦@WHAlexander1⁩ performing heroics in my field this afternoon – you made the national news Bill! #goodneighbour

‘This pic from my son was when the wind turned towards my brother’s house, luckily Bill Alexander and Jonny & Ellie from TCAgri saved the day.’

He said that if Mr Alexander had not stepped in, the damage could have been even worse.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said during the fire: ‘Eight fire engines, all terrain vehicles and a bulk water carrier have been sent to reports of a standing crop fire in fields on Lenham Heath between Maidstone and Ashford.

‘Crews are working hard to get the fire under control, which is covering approximately eight hectares.

‘Smoke from the fire may be visible on the M20 between junctions 8 (Leeds Castle) and 9 (Ashford), road users heading towards Maidstone are asked to take extra care.’

They said in an update at 4.50pm: ‘The fire has been brought under control and put out. Firefighters escorted persons who were in the vicinity to safety.

‘There are no reports of any injuries.’

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