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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Cause of Kinver Fire Uncertain

11/05/2011

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have said it is likely they will never know for certain how the huge woodland fire in Kinver started.

"The important thing for people to remember is to take care in the countryside."

South Staffordshire Area Commander, Keith Stubbs

The incident, which lasted almost a week, has destroyed 50 hectares of privately owned woodland and could have been up to 10 times worse had it not been for the hard work of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Hereford & Worcester and West Midlands Fire Services to contain and extinguish the fire.

South Staffordshire Area Commander, Keith Stubbs said: "With a fire of this scale and the devastation it has caused we can’t say for sure how the fire started. We have taken into account that it was a bank holiday when the incident began and the fact that members of the public do have permitted access to the area, however it is unlikely we will ever know if the fire started accidentally or if it was started intentionally.

"The important thing for people to remember is to take care in the countryside. If you’re a smoker, please make sure you don’t throw or flick your cigarette end or hot ash into grass or woodland, take all litter home with you if there is not a nearby bin and refrain from having bonfires or barbecues in the open.

"We also ask that people remain vigilant when out and about and that any suspicious activity is reported to your local police. If you do happen to spot a fire, no matter how small, call 999 immediately and ask for the fire service and we will come and deal with it."

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service launched a new campaign last month to highlight the dangers of deliberately starting grass fires. During April 2011 South Staffordshire suffered from 60 grass fires, many of which were started deliberately.