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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Grass fire figures plummet during the school holidays

03/09/2013

Figures released today have revealed that the number of grass fires reported during the 2013 school summer holiday has dropped dramatically compared to two years ago.

"We have been increasingly proactive in engaging with young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, educating them on the dangers of setting fire to grass. This type of fire can spread very quickly and have devastating consequences on nature – or even worse – on innocent people and animals."

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service tackled 266 grass fires between July 21 and August 30 – less than half of the 654 incidents that crews dealt with during the same period in 2011.

In the east of the county, there were 58 this year and 150 in 2011. Firefighters in the west of the county dealt with 62 this year and 240 in 2011 while crews in the north tackled 146 this year and 264 in 2011.

The vast reduction in this type of incident, despite the warm weather which traditionally sparks an increase in grass fires, is thought to be due to the Service’s proactive prevention work with young people.

The risk reduction team has been engaging with young people in schools and at youth groups, educating them about the possible consequences of grass fires.

Firefighters have held a whole host of community based activities including the ‘Safety Town’ initiative which saw hundreds of children in Tamworth learn about the perils of playing with fire and the consequences of crime.

Staffordshire Police, British Transport Police, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership and Royal National Lifeboat Institution supported the initiative.

The Crucial Crew initiative has also had a positive effect along with the portable sporting arena, StreetStadiaTM, which visited parks across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, helping to reduce anti-social behavior by entertaining youngsters throughout the school summer holidays.

The arena allows young people to interact, socialise and enjoy team games in a safe environment.

Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “We have been increasingly proactive in engaging with young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, educating them on the dangers of setting fire to grass. This type of fire can spread very quickly and have devastating consequences on nature – or even worse – on innocent people and animals.

“The Teenage Caveman video together with the ‘Flames Aren’t Games’ campaign and StreetStadiaTM have had a significant impact on the number of grass fires we have dealt with during the summer holidays this year, compared to 2011. We are committed to continuing to work closely with young people across the county to make Staffordshire the safest place to be.”

The ‘Teenage Caveman’ video can be viewed at http://youtu.be/xINXFdZyh1M