Blackpool nuisance heatwave fires spark concern

Lancashire firefighters continue to tackle the fire at Winter Hill
Lancashire firefighters continue to tackle the fire at Winter Hill

Firefighters have issued a warning after the number of “deliberate and avoidable fires” doubled during the latest heatwave.

Lancashire Fire Service say their resources are stretched to the limit as they continue to battle the Winter Hill fire as well as dealing with other call-outs.

Fires have increased during the heatwave with 42 incidents of deliberate or avoidable fires for the last week of June alone compared with 31 emergency calls for avoidable rubbish related fires in the previous month.

Out of the 42 incidents at the end of June, six were caused by discarded cigarettes, two from barbecues which had been used carelessly and the rest were homeowners burning rubbish and garden waste and children deliberately starting fires.

Lytham Green was badly damaged by a fire sparked by an overturned disposable barbecue.

Days later, a field was damaged by fire at Farmer Parr’s Animal World in Fleetwood.

Around 20 young cattle were grazing in the field at the time of the incident and escaped safely before the blaze was extinguished by firefighters. Several youngsters were spotted near the scene.

Sharon Aspden, Blackpool’s Community Fire Safety Team Leader (inset) said some residents are not considering the consequences of starting fires.

She said : “These calls are the result of a person’s careless behaviour, a lack of realisation of the impact their actions have on others.

“Residents and tradesmen are deliberately burning garden waste and other combustibles at their private properties. Blackpool has a total of four fire appliances based across the entire area, and each of these calls required appliances to attend.

“We want all our residents to enjoy a happy and safe summer period and our main concern is for the safety of our

community.”