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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Four Deliberate Grass Fires in Four Hours

12/04/2011

Grass fire

Crews from Cannock attended four deliberately started grass fires in the Cannock area yesterday.

"Anyone who thinks it’s funny or clever to start fires is very wrong."

Cannock Area Commander, Stuart Claughton

Firefighters spent over three hours attending and putting out the fires, the first of which was started at 3.55pm off Cocksparrow Lane in Huntington where some shrubbery had been set alight.

Crews were then called to Hednesford Hill on Reservoir Road at 4.50pm where 4 x 4 metres of grass was on fire. One hose reel jet was used to extinguish the fire and crews left the incident at 5.20pm.

At just after 7pm crews were called to land off Stafford Road in Huntington and again used one hose reel jet to put out a third deliberately started fire.

At 7.55pm the crew were called to Hazel Slade Nature Reserve on Cannock Wood Street where approximately 10 x 10 metres of grass land was on fire. Firefighters used backpacks and beaters to extinguish the fire and left the scene at 8.50pm.

Cannock Area Commander, Stuart Claughton said: "We launched our grass fires campaign, Flames Aren’t Games, just last week which specifically targets people who deliberately start fires, yet we’ve now had four deliberate fires in the same area in a short space of time.

"What many people don’t realise is that grass fires can very quickly spread out of control during this dry weather. 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.

"People who start fires deliberately are also putting their own lives at risk, alls it takes is a bit of a breeze and before you know it your clothes are on fire. Anyone who thinks it’s funny or clever to start fires is very wrong because it isn’t and these people really need to re-evaluate their behaviour before someone is seriously hurt or worse."

Anyone with information about these fires can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.