Warning over grass fires

Pheasants Wood in Thornton, where a fire was started recently.
Pheasants Wood in Thornton, where a fire was started recently.
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Firebugs have been warned of the dangers of starting blazes after a spate of incidents during the school holidays.

Firefighters were called out to 12 grass fires on the Fylde coast during the Easter bank holiday, which led to resources being stretched to the limit.

John Taylor, a spokesman for Lancashire Fire Service, said: “The statistics read that over the Easter weekend and school holidays there’s a correlation between youngsters and fires.

“Kids have been seen running away from the scene and it ties in with the holidays and dry weather.

“There could be a really serious and life threatening incident and there’s always the risk of crews being tied up.

“This is something which could have very serious consequences.

“Although we have the capacity to deal with multiple incidents, there can be delays.”

The fire service says the recent dry weather has led to fires quickly getting out of hand.

On Sunday, 30 firefighters attended a field fire at the rear of Cala Gran Caravan Park, on Springfield Terrace, Fleetwood.

A fire was also recently started at Pheasants Wood in Thornton.

Mr Taylor added: “Kids are getting up late, going out in the day and staying out late and all the fires are in the time frame of noon to midnight.

“The fires can start small and spread so easily.”

Julie Simpson, a community fire safety practitioner for Wyre and based at Fleetwood Fire Station, regularly goes out to schools to teach youngsters about the dangers of playing with fire.

She has called on people to realise what resources are available and stop starting needless fires across the Fylde coast.

She added: “We teach a fire education programme and part of that is with young people who don’t realise the danger.

“In Fleetwood, there’s one full-time fire engine and one retained fire engine.

“If one is tied up in a field fire, it has to come from further away.

“People think we have a couple of fire engines and we’re waiting to respond, but we don’t.

“We have one full time and one part time.”

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