'Blaze' of autumn sunshine for farmer

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The early autumn sunshine caused a problem for one local farmer who dialled 999 when he spotted smoke billowing from his silage store recently.

The Audlem fire crew was joined by a fire engine from Market Drayton called to help tackle the smoke issuing from a 600 tonnes store of silage.

Firefighters stood by with hose reels as the farmer used his mechanical digger to carefully dig out some silage from the 50 metre by 20 metre store under the close direction of a fire service safety officer.

As he did so the cloud of 'smoke' cleared to reveal itself simply as steam reflecting in the strong autumn sunlight.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "It was found that the smoke was caused by steam refracting in sunlight and the call was a false alarm with good intent."

Better safe than sorry as far as the farmer and the fire service were concerned. A recent blaze on a Barthomley farm destroyed 40 tonnes of hay and straw that self-combusted and went up in flames.

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