COUNTY NEWS: Arson caused 80-metre haystack fire

Picture from Emsworth fire station
Picture from Emsworth fire station
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A huge farm fire involving 100 tonnes of hay is being treated as arson, Sussex Police have confirmed.

Firefighters are still at the scene of the blaze at New Barn farm in Funtington, near Chichester, following a call out at 6.15am this morning.

Approximately 3,000 hay bales are being allowed to burn in a controlled section, with one Arundel crew still onsite, a fire service spokesperson said.

It is anticipated the bales will continue to burn through the night.

Police are appealing for information in investigating the fire, which is believed to have been started in a barn sometime between 4.30 and 6am this morning.

Damage was caused to two Caterpillar diggers and tools were found in the barn where the fire was started, a police spokesperson added.

Detective sergeant Alan Fenn said: “We believe the fire was started between 4.30am and 6am on Thursday morning and are appealing to anyone who might have been in the area around that time.

“We believe those responsible may have left the site onto the B2146 and onto Downs Road.

“Were you driving in the area and might have seen something suspicious.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact online on https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 135 of 9/3.

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