General, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Barn spontaneously combusts

Spontaneous combustion caused a barn fire that destroyed 800 tonnes of hay.

The blaze engulfed the barn at a farm in Farnham on Sunday <2 September> after the closely stacked hay heated up to a temperature of about 200’F (90’C)

It took around 30 firefighters to get the blaze under control and more than two days to make the area safe.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Investigation & Community Risk Reduction Manager Bryn Strudwick said: “Spontaneous combustion is rare but can be a real danger for farmers, a few simple steps can help to protect against the devastation this can cause to buildings and businesses”.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has produced a leaflet giving advice to farmers on how they can safely store hay.


Download a copy of the leaflet here

When Hay gets Hot – Reduce the risk of barn fires

Media requiring more information can contact Jacob Leverett in Surrey Fire and Rescue Service’s media relations team on 02085 419 419 or email


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