Police have launched an arson investigation into a barn fire in west Northamptonshire last week.
The fire, which caused more than £50,000 in damages, broke out between 8:00p.m and 10:00p.m on Tuesday, May 16.
The barn on Warkworth Road, Middleton Cheney, was left destroyed, along with around 300 large straw bales which were stored inside it.
Northamptonshire Police appealed for information over the weekend after announcing that it is being treated as a “deliberate act” and urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
Anyone with information about the arson is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101, or by contacting FireStoppers anonymously by phone or online.
Last week, multiple Northern Irish agencies and farming organisations called for the help of farmers and the public in the prevention of wildfires ahead of dry weather periods.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) said it is backing calls from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
UFU hill farming chair, Alastair Armstrong, said spells of dry weather have been forecasted for the coming weeks and that “the best way” to prevent an outbreak of wildfires is for farmers, landowners and the public to participate in a collaborative prevention effort.
“Since February 2023, there have been over 100 wildfires in Northern Ireland and despite the recent rainfall, ground and vegetation conditions are relatively dry which can cause fires to catch and spread quickly.
“This will become even more of a risk when the sunny weather does begin. Wildfires have the potential to endanger wildlife, livestock, rural residents and firefighters. The financial impact also caused by wildfires can be costly,” he added.
Armstrong said visitors in rural areas and residents must be mindful of wildfires especially during the summer months.
“In the majority of cases, wildfires are started by humans either deliberately or through carelessness. Wildfires are illegal and the deliberate setting of wildfires is a criminal offence,” he said.