Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have initiated a scheme called ‘Parkhall Pals’ to help combat deliberately started fires at Parkhall Country Park.
"These fires are destroying a beautiful countryside area and in most cases have been started maliciously."
Station Manager, Andy Leedham
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are hoping that local people can act as eyes and ears for any fire activity or suspicious behaviour in the area.
Since March this year, the fire service has been called to a shocking 61 incidents at the park, including 14 separate incidents in just six hours in April. Station Manager, Andy Leedham said: “These fires are destroying a beautiful countryside area and in most cases have been started maliciously.
"It’s not fair that the people who choose to carry out such selfish acts can just continue to do so whilst people who enjoy walking here have to suffer the consequences.
"Several of the incidents we have been called to at the park recently have had eye-witnesses and that information has been passed to the police. Of course by the time emergency services arrive the culprits have disappeared, therefore we have put together ‘Parkhall Pals’ so that any local people who use the park can be our eyes and ears and pass vital information onto the fire service and Crimestoppers or the police.
"We are hoping that the ‘Parkhall Pals’ will be able to accurately report the location of fires to us and pass details of people seen lighting the fires or acting suspiciously to the police.
"We are not asking people to tackle the fires in any way or approach anybody seen setting them, all they will need is a love of walking through the park and an enthusiasm to help protect Parkhall Country Park."
Sgt Craig Burton from Stoke-on-Trent South Local Policing Team said: "Staffordshire Police actively work in partnership with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service colleagues and support the work they do. We will support Parkhall Pals in whatever way we can."
If anybody would like to help with the scheme they are asked to contact Longton Fire Station on 01785 898765 or 898030 and leave their details.
Anyone with any information about any incidents is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.