Farmer counts cost of Chinese lantern blaze

Karen Evins with the wrecked crop of barley

Karen Evins with the wrecked crop of barley

First published in News by

A LANDOWNER is furious after a Chinese lantern destroyed thousands of pounds worth of barley.

Twenty five firefighters tackled the severe crop blaze at Stonesfield near Woodstock, which started after a lantern, set off at a nearby birthday celebration, landed in the field.

The blaze destroyed six acres of barley worth between £3,000 and £4,000.

The crop was due to have been harvested in just three days.

Last night Karen Evins, of Charity Farm in Woodstock Road, who owns the land with her husband Roger, said: “We’ve lost a third of a field.

“They shouldn’t even be selling the lanterns and these people shouldn’t have been letting them off. It was a very dry crop, you could see it was a dry crop, so why on earth would you light a naked flame?

“Had it gone the other way, the houses all along Greenfield Crescent would have possibly been at risk.”

In a message to anyone con-sidering launching lit lantern into the air, she said: “Don’t do it.

“We don’t even light a bonfire at this time of year, we have got very dry conditions, the grass is practically brown.”

Fire crews were called to the scene at 9.30pm on Friday night.

Firefighters used water jets and beaters to prevent the blaze spreading to nearby hedgerows and neighbouring crops.

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Incident commander John Nixon said crews were attending more and more fires caused by lanterns and urged the public to think twice before setting them alight.

He said: “The fire was caused by a Chinese lantern that had drifted over the field and had come down setting the field alight.

“The lantern had been released from a nearby house which had been holding a birthday celebration.

“We are attending more and more of these incidents recently and they have been all caused by Chinese lanterns.”

He added: “While we are happy for people to celebrate special occasions, they must consider the potential damage these lanterns can cause.

“Our advice is, if you are really resolute about using a Chinese lanterns, please consider the potential for fires being caused and the effect it can have on both the countryside and an individual’s property.

“If in doubt don’t use them.”

Comments (9)

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6:43pm Tue 3 Aug 10

Headington Jim says...

Hope the Old Bill will invesigate and prosecute. They should have time now they are off speeding duties.
Wouldn't want them wasting time chasing burglars.
Ironic that google ads have three on this page for lanterns though!
Hope the Old Bill will invesigate and prosecute. They should have time now they are off speeding duties. Wouldn't want them wasting time chasing burglars. Ironic that google ads have three on this page for lanterns though! Headington Jim
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Tue 3 Aug 10

partypooper says...

The "old bill" have no need to invesigate as unlike a lot of folk the perpetrators owned up, and are not "posh ****" a quote fron Karen
Evins. The matter is in the process of being resolved. Accidents happen, no one died, no harm was intended.
The "old bill" have no need to invesigate as unlike a lot of folk the perpetrators owned up, and are not "posh ****" a quote fron Karen Evins. The matter is in the process of being resolved. Accidents happen, no one died, no harm was intended. partypooper
  • Score: 0

7:17am Wed 4 Aug 10

AngelB says...

There should be a ban on releasing both these lanterns and balloons, both cause damage plus injury and death to wildlife. It is serious littering at best and suitable punishments should be put in place.
There should be a ban on releasing both these lanterns and balloons, both cause damage plus injury and death to wildlife. It is serious littering at best and suitable punishments should be put in place. AngelB
  • Score: 0

7:24am Wed 4 Aug 10

Lord Palmerstone says...

I know the government is no longer the banning party but these things undoubtedly should be banned. Ask vets who have to treat animals which have swallowed them and got the wire twisted in their gut.
I suggest a Bill which saves the British Pub by permitting smoking rooms and saves animals and crops by banning these wretched fire bombs.That should have full support, except from the rear guard of Tonegord's Nazis.
I know the government is no longer the banning party but these things undoubtedly should be banned. Ask vets who have to treat animals which have swallowed them and got the wire twisted in their gut. I suggest a Bill which saves the British Pub by permitting smoking rooms and saves animals and crops by banning these wretched fire bombs.That should have full support, except from the rear guard of Tonegord's Nazis. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Wed 4 Aug 10

Man on the Green says...

They do seem rather dangerous for general sale. One came down in our garden recently, and not only spooked a passing horse but was still smouldering when it landed and could easily have set something alight.

I expect that compensation will be paid to the farmer in this case, and probably will be covered by insurance, but the potential for much more serious harm is certainly there.

Though I'm not much in favour of blanket bans, their sale does need to be reviewed.
They do seem rather dangerous for general sale. One came down in our garden recently, and not only spooked a passing horse but was still smouldering when it landed and could easily have set something alight. I expect that compensation will be paid to the farmer in this case, and probably will be covered by insurance, but the potential for much more serious harm is certainly there. Though I'm not much in favour of blanket bans, their sale does need to be reviewed. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Wed 4 Aug 10

VillageSupporter says...

Just a note to Party Pooper, They may have "owned up" after being advised by other villagers of the fire, something they could hardly deny considering the lanterns were clearly seen in flight from their property, but did they ring the fire brigade?? or were they too consumed in taking photo's, one is wondering if they have even apologised to the land owner??
Just a note to Party Pooper, They may have "owned up" after being advised by other villagers of the fire, something they could hardly deny considering the lanterns were clearly seen in flight from their property, but did they ring the fire brigade?? or were they too consumed in taking photo's, one is wondering if they have even apologised to the land owner?? VillageSupporter
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Wed 4 Aug 10

MadMan-JaYmZ says...

Yeah they are pretty dangerous,
I don't see the point in them myself what do they represent at a birthday party ? nothing.

whoever left it off should pay £3000-£4000 IMO
Yeah they are pretty dangerous, I don't see the point in them myself what do they represent at a birthday party ? nothing. whoever left it off should pay £3000-£4000 IMO MadMan-JaYmZ
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Sat 7 Aug 10

bigred1 says...

My neighbour lets these lanterns off from his garden frequently. Twice they have just brushed over the roof top before being blown to God-knows-where. Only idiots are unable to see how dangerous these things are. It is true that no harm was intended, but common sense should be enough.
My neighbour lets these lanterns off from his garden frequently. Twice they have just brushed over the roof top before being blown to God-knows-where. Only idiots are unable to see how dangerous these things are. It is true that no harm was intended, but common sense should be enough. bigred1
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Sat 7 Aug 10

Berty says...

I wonder whether fireworks should also be banned. I was hit on the head by the remains of a rocket while walking in Abingdon last year and it caught my coat on fire. Fun, but potentially damaging.
I wonder whether fireworks should also be banned. I was hit on the head by the remains of a rocket while walking in Abingdon last year and it caught my coat on fire. Fun, but potentially damaging. Berty
  • Score: 0

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