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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service Sees Hike in Grass Fires

Grass fire

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to take care in the countryside after it saw a massive 46% increase in grass fire last month.

"For every grass fire we deal with, it means that firefighters are not available to attend other incidents, some of which could be life threatening."

In the two week Easter period alone, there were over 200 deliberately started grass fires.

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said: "We're extremely shocked at the massive increase in grass fires we had last month, particularly during the Easter period. We're urging parents to take time to educate their children about the dangers and serious consequences associated with starting fires.

"What many young people don't realise is that grass fires can very quickly spread out of control during this dry weather – last month a 14 year old boy suffered burns after he tried to put out a grass fire and we also had a fire on Cannock Chase that engulfed over a mile squared of grassland.

"There are some tell tale signs that parents should look out for, these include your child smelling of smoke and burns to their body or clothing. It may also be that you discover lighters, matches and accelerants going missing from home."

Across the County firefighters will be out on push bikes in the hot spot areas; speaking to young people they come across. The Service’s targeted response vehicles, which are smaller fire engines, will also be out in areas not accessible by traditional fire engines.

Ian Sloss continued to say: "Grass fires are not only damaging to the environment, in particular wildlife, they are also a drain on our resources. For every grass fire we deal with, it means that firefighters are not available to attend other incidents, some of which could be life threatening."

Anyone with information on people responsible for deliberately starting grass fires should contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The push to stamp out the number of grass fires forms part of the Service's Summer Safety campaign which will be officially launched at this year's Staffordshire County Show on 2nd and 3rd June. The Summer Safety campaign raises awareness of fire safety outdoors including, BBQ safety, care in the countryside and fire safety aboard boats.