Quick thinking from Keith farmer helps avoid hay barn disaster

Quick thinking by a Moray farmer prevented a major disaster on Wednesday when a vehicle in use next to a barn full of straw bales burst into flames.

The drama unfolded on the farm at Little Cantly Farm near Keith where John Milne Snr acted quickly as a telescopic handler caught fire alongside the barn.

Mr Milne – who owns his own farm at Little Clerkseat – was on his son’s farm at the time and quickly realised that there was a real danger of the blaze spreading.

He said: “I was worried that the fuel tank might explode as it is only made of plastic, so I got on a tractor and used that to tow the thing away.

“I only managed to get it a short way before the tow rope burnt through and then tried to put the fire out with water but it was no use.”

Firefighters arrived from Fochabers after receiving a call at 8.45am and managed to douse the fire just over an hour later. A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to respond to a fire involving a heavy plant vehicle at Little Cantly in the Grange area to the east of Keith.

“Firefighters used one hose reel jet and foam to extinguish the fire. Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident.”

Telescopic handlers are used by farmers to lift heavy loads.

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