Arson attack sparks crops fire across land the size of 30 football pitches
Arsonists are suspected of setting fire to a vast field of crops, sending plumes of black smoke skywards.
Flames ripped through the ripe corn, spreading rapidly across the sun-baked ground in Little Wyrley on the Staffordshire – Walsall border.
Around 20 firefighters battled to contain the blaze – involving an area the size of almost 30 football pitches.
Crews from Bloxwich and Cannock were sent to the scene after the alarm was raised at 4.22pm on Thursday.
A West Midlands Fire spokesman said: "It was a fast-moving fire which had been deliberately ignited. A farmer reported seeing people setting light to the crops.
"The blaze involved a 38 acre field of standing corn, of which 75 per cent was destroyed. Crews spent some time dampening down at the scene."
Smoke from the fire in Fishley Lane could be seen from miles around.
Members of the Bloxwich crew tweeted a picture from the scene under the hashtag #arsonisacrime.