Oxford

Shiplake field fire after 'combine harvester explosion'

Shiplake Farm
Image caption Firefighters were called to the blaze at Shiplake Farm at about 13:00 BST

A suspected combine harvester explosion started a fire in a field that covered "the size of 25 football pitches".

Sixty firefighters were called after farm machinery caught fire at Shiplake Farm, Oxfordshire, at about 13:00 BST.

A pub and nearby homes were evacuated and residents were told to close doors and windows, the fire service said.

Simon Chandler said on Twitter: "A combine harvester exploded. Farmers are currently trying to plough the field in order to create fire breaks."

Image caption Firefighters could remain at the scene of the blaze overnight

Service manager Paul Bremble said: "This incident escalated rapidly because of the extremely dry conditions and a strong wind.

"We would again urge the public to take extreme care in the countryside as the heatwave continues."

The operation was scaled back at about 16:30, but firefighters could remain at the scene overnight, a spokesman added.

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