This summer and autumn has seen a substantial number of barn and machinery fires on farms across the region.

There have also been a number of challenging rescues of large animals.

Consequently, last month Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service recently hosted 150 young farmers from across Cornwall to discuss how to prevent agricultural fires and to demonstrate animal rescues.

Bodmin and Tolvaddon are the only two fire stations in the county that have large animal rescue equipment and expertise.

They use a line rescue vehicle, a specially equipped Toyota Hilux offroad 4x4.

It carries lines for animals and lines for crew, all of which have different strengths, and these are used with a set of bipod poles.

Pulleys and line systems allow lower ratios of movement, vital when the animals are large and heavy.

When mobilised, two or three heavy animal rescue officers attend to assess the situation.

The incidents tend to be the rescue of larger animals such as cows and horses.

Frequently the animals are trapped in confined spaces such as mine shafts.

Other times the animals are stuck in slurry, mud or water.

Almost always, the animals in need of help are in remote places around the county, such as fields, mines, cliffs and quarries.

Night rescues are rare since they are more dangerous.

Since every incident is different, it's the experience of the crew members that counts.

Jason Doney is the crew manager of the tactical rescue team for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, having worked for the service for 25 years.

One of the reasons that he enjoys his work so much is the mental challenge each situation presents.

He said: "Since every incident is different. it's experience of the crew that counts.

"We adapt the experiences we've previously had to apply to a new situation.

"It's problem-solving, it gets you thinking and it's always interesting."

The team often remind farmers not to attempt rescues themselves as they are putting their own lives at risk.

Likewise, where possible, fencing off mineshafts and slurry pits could prevent accidents.

The principle cause of barn fires is the spontaneous combustion of hay.

When Bodmin Fire Station recently hosted 150 young farmers from across the county, they talked about ways to prevent farm fires.

Firefighters stressed to the young farmers that farm fires directly affected the business.

Jason said: "Barn fires are so resource intensive. They can easily need seven or eight fore engines and crews, then there's the ongoing relief work.

"The real point, though, is the cost to farmers.

"All the year's hard work and crops are - quite literally - gone up in smoke.

"On top of the financial disaster, there's stress and hassle.

"Most farm fires are preventable.

"Vehicle maintenance and cleaning is important.

"Running tractors and quads for 10-12 hours then parking them next to straw barns is a huge risk.

"Fire safety measures come down to a business decision.

"It's your livelihood. No-one wants to see six months' work go up in smoke in the blink of an eye."

Farm visits in which the fire service offer bespoke advice to farmers on ways to prevent fire and how to manage it should the worst happen are free.

Contact your county's fire service to book one.