Home PageAmmanford fire stationHistoryFire Stories 1Fire Stories 2Fund RaisingCommunity Fire Safety and Fire PreventionIndustrial ActionRetired Members

Stories from the year 1946 Stories from the year 1945 Stories from the year 1944 Stories from the year 1943 Stories from the year 1942 Stories from the year 1941 Stories from the year 1940

Fire Bombs and how to deal with
Pontardawe AFS men killed
Use of Poison Gas
More FireWomen wanted
Bonfire Sequel
Superintendent Appointed
Fire Spotting Scheme
Safety first for Fire Fighters
New ARP Centre
Llandebie Saw Mills
Superintendent Wanted

Fire Watchers Grouse

Fire Watchers
Ammanford man gets George Medal
Fighting Crop Fires

Payment for Fire members

Super Applications Received


7th August 1941





There is more land under corn in Wales this year than for many years, and therefore more need to guard against crop and stack fires.

Not on of the thirteen counties has escaped bombs, and the need for taking thorough precautionary measures in general. Both the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Home Security are anxious that farmers everywhere in the interests of the nation's food supply as well as their own, should be aware of the danger and plan their fire-fighting well before-hand.

Stacks of ricks should be situated well away from houses and buildings, and not too near a hedge. There should be at least 15 yards between stacks.

Where possible they should be near water, a pool or a tap. To prevent fire spreading it is wise to plough the stubble round every stack to a depth os 2 yards.

Should stacks catch fire from an incendiary bomb, long light poles to beat it out are useful and should be kept handy. Hay knives should be at hand for cutting out; or chains could be used to pass round the top of a stack, which could then be pulled down and beaten.

Every farmer and farm worker should know the address and telephone number of the nearest fire pumps.

It is in the matter of water supply that care and forethought can most beneficially be exercised. Where practicable , rain water should be collected and stored. Available water-carts and any receptacles like tanks, old churns, and the like, should be kept filled.

Shallow streams in the vicinity can provide a water-hole or sump for the pumps. Ditches should be kept cleared of rubbish, etc., and for removable wooden obstructions to be prepared and so placed so as to retain the water.

The capacity of an existing pond could be enlarged by raising its sides. Old wells should be examined, and cleaned out if suitable.

Standing crops are in special danger when remote from water supplies, and beating may be the only means of fighting a fire. This calls for planning before-hand to be effectual.

A fire can travel swiftly down wind, and it is best to counter it from both sides, tow parties of beater working in form the flanks. One man to every ten yards is desirable, with alternative shifts, as beating is hard work.

It is also very dry work, and women-folk and children can help here with supplies of drinking water. Beaters should protect heads and faces from the fierce heat and cover bare arms.

Wild banging about is ineffective and liable to scatter sparks. Press the corn to the ground systematically.

Start some distance from the fire, squashing down a wide strip. This will slow the fire down and give a better chance of smothering the flames. After the fire has been mastered, one man (or woman or child) should stay for an hour to patrol every hundred yards and make sure that no smouldering tufts are left.

Green branches of hazel, elder, etc., can be tied to make rough besoms, attached to a longish handle, such as a hay-fork. A small stack with a crossbar to keep it spread out and similarly provided with a handle is also effective.

An old motor tyre split open and flattened out. With a batten nailed across one end to keep it flat, also makes a good instrument when fastened to broomstick.

All these should be kept in water ready for an emergency.

Top of Page