Elephant grass blaze sweeps field in Somerset

Elephant grass blaze sweeps field in Somerset

09 March 2010

published by news.bbc.co.uk

UK —  Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service was alerted late on Monday.

Crews from Nether Stowey found part of the field well alight and called for a crew from Williton and a water carrier.

Extra appliances were later sent from Bridgwater and Williton as the fire spread, threatening to set alight electricity poles.

Biofuel crop

It is thought the fire could have been started deliberately.

Elephant grass is increasingly being used as a biofuel crop, burnt in power stations to generate electricity.

The giant grass, also called Miscanthus, is native to sub-tropical and tropical Africa and Asia, but has been popular in Europe since the 1980s.

Studies suggest that it needs little fertiliser to produce very high yields.

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