‘Fire kills’ warning follows St Annes dunes blaze

Police warning signs on Clifton Drive North, St Annes
Police warning signs on Clifton Drive North, St Annes

A new campaign aimed at preventing any repeat of the blaze that devastated a nature reserve has been welcomed by fire officers.

The Fylde Community Safety Partnership has worked with police to put up signs warning “fire kills” on Clifton Drive North, St Annes.

They are next to the site of the fire in June, which caused extensive environmental damage to grass, wild plants and small wildlife on the sand dunes.

An investigation by Lancashire Fire and Rescue determined arson was the cause of the fire after youths were seen running away from the scene.

But the blaze, which closed the main road between St Annes and Blackpool for hours, was also immediately followed by a poster campaign by Fylde Council warning against open fires on grassed public areas.

Meanwhile, Fylde’s coastal team are still busy repairing the damage.

Bryan Ward, inset, Fylde’s community safety officer, said: “The Partnership wants to remind people that fire kills not only human life but also the environment.

“Carelessly discarding a cigarette or leaving barbecue embers is not only littering but dangerous.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue spokesman John Taylor said: “We welcome any contribution to the prevention of grass or moorland fires, such as the fire in that location at the same time a moorland fire of an unprecedented scale and level of response was taking place at Winter Hill.

“The prohibition of the use of barbecues and the reference to the deterrent effect of prosecution in cases of arson covers both accidental and deliberate causes of grass fires, which can have just the same devastating consequences.”