AN EQUESTRIAN centre owner has been left frustrated after she claims a 'controlled' fire was extinguished.

Fire crews from Barrow and Walney were called to reports of a fire in the open on Cows Tarn Lane, Walney.

Laura Morrow, owner of Beach Hill Equestrian, the site where the fire took place, said: "We run an equestrian centre and we had an issue earlier in the year where one of our horses had a case of strangles which is extremely contagious.

"This horse had come from dealers in Carlisle and within four days was showing signs of having this virus. It's a bit like mad cow's disease - you have to fully disinfect clothes, your feet, everything."

She said that the fire on her property was made up of the diseased stable that the horse had been kept in, which needed to be disposed of safely.

She said: "We had to get rid of the infected stable. There was no other way to safely get rid, other than for it to be burnt.

"So we had a fire on the land, which is our own land. and we had phoned the fire in to the controlled burns unit, we reported it to them before even lighting the fire.

"We were here til late on in the evening, we left at say 7pm with regular attendance checks, we also have 24 hour CCTV here so it was being monitored via that too. It wasn't near anyone's property and it was completely safe, controlled and monitored.

"Late in the evening the fire was only small because there was only wood on it, nothing explosive or hazardous. It would have just put itself out.

"I'm annoyed it has been reported when it's a private fire on our own land and we had followed all the correct procedures in reporting the fire going ahead in the first place.

"It doesn't help us when we are trying to get our business out there and get a good feel out there to people that we are actually doing a good thing. We are hoping to bring in things to support the community and charities."

A spokesman for Cumbria Fire and Rescue said: "If we are called to a unsupervised fire, even in a controlled environment, that is a risk to the public or a risk to the environment, then we will have the right to extinguish that."