FAULTY farm machinery has been blamed for a blaze which took hold of 100 tonnes of hay in a barn.

About 40 firefighters from across north and west Cumbria attended the incident at West View Farm, Temple Sowerby, to the south west of Penrith.

A spokesman for Cumbria fire and rescue said: “The barn fire caused significant damage to the barn, though it was not destroyed. It’s thought to have been started by faulty farm machinery inside the barn. About 100 tonnes of hay ignited and 160 cows were moved to safety.

“Six appliances attended – two from Penrith and ones from Lazonby, Kirkby Stephen, Shap, Appleby as well as additional resources from Cockermouth and Workington, so more than 40 firefighters in total.”

A police spokesman said: “Police were contacted at 9.27am to a report of a fire, no injuries were reported. “There are no suspicious circumstances.”

Recently, in a separate incident four cows were pulled from a slurry pit in a dramatic rescue operation after they became trapped on a farm in Cumbria.Fourteen firefighters were called out to the farm near Penrith to rescue the heifers using large animal lifting equipment.As well as using lighting and lifting equipment, they had to cut away some of the metal slats covering the pit to get to the cows.