Tinder-dry conditions in East Anglia as footage shows crews battling field fire in Suffolk

  • Watch footage of the fire raging through the field

A homeowner has filmed footage of a crop fire raging through the countryside as the UK's latest heatwave takes hold.

James Cutting captured the scenes near his home in mid Suffolk as fire tore through more than six hectares of fields in the tinder-dry conditions near the village of Thorndon on Thursday afternoon.

The pictures show firefighters appearing to call for help as they douse the flames with water and thick clouds of black smoke rise.

Mr Cutting estimated the flames reached up to 30 feet in places, and said a farmer had to dig a firebreak to stop them reaching a thatched cottage nearby.

Like many fire services across the country, firefighters in Suffolk have been exceptionally busy as temperatures continue to soar.

Earlier this week, the Met Office raised its fire severity index to the highest level - meaning that there is an exceptional" risk of wildfires.

Much of the land at Wild Ken Hill is now blackened following the fire last month. Credit: ITV News Anglia

As well as dealing with the fire in Thorndon, 16 fire engines were also sent to a separate incident in Rattlesden near Stowmarket after more than 15 acres of field went up in flames.

Although this heatwave is not expected to reach the unprecedented temperatures seen in July, there is still huge concern about just how dry the ground is, with no rain in the forecast over the next few days.

The July heatwave, which saw the UK record its highest ever temperature, led to devastating consequences in parts of East Anglia and beyond.

Fire crews dealt with thousands of incidents on that occasion, including at the Wild Ken Hill nature reserve near King's Lynn where 80 acres of land were lost, and at Ashill in Norfolk, where 11 homes were destroyed.

Earlier this week, bosses at the nature reserve which is home to BBC Springwatch spoke of their fears that the latest hot spell could lead to more fires on the site.

Elsewhere in East Anglia, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said it had enacted a emergency plan for the next five weeks, given the hot weather, and has told people not to have barbecues or open fires.

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