Farmers are being reminded to 'keep an eye' on fresh hay bales as they are more likely to catch fire.

Freshly baled hay is more likely to spontaneously combust than dry hay, according to the fire service, which has issued a warning to farmers to pay attention to their hay over the next month. 

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "With hay making well under way, we are reminding farmers to keep an eye or freshly baled hay over the coming month.

"Did you know that wet hay is more likely to lead to spontaneous combustion than dry hay. If hay is put into a barn or stack when it has more than about 22 per cent moisture, not only does the hay lose forage quality, but it has an increased risk of catching fire."

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