Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Crews Attend Over 300 Grass Fires In 12 Days

Crews Attend Over 300 Grass Fires In 12 Days

Friday, 12 April 2013

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has issued fire safety guidance after firefighters attended more than 300 grass fires in Merseyside within 12 days.

There have been a total of 334 grass fires over the Easter break between Friday, March 29 and Tuesday, April 9.

Of those fires, there were 59 in Liverpool, 47 in Wirral, 68 in Sefton, 60 in Knowsley and 100 in St Helens.

Fire safety advice has been issued to the public who are using parkland areas as the milder weather approaches.

There are simple steps people can take to reduce the chance of a grass fire.

People should ensure cigarettes are extinguished properly and should not throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of vehicle windows.

Rubbish should be taken home and not left behind, especially glass bottles as they can magnify the sun's rays and start a fire. They can also injure people and animals.

Open fires should not be lit in parks and open spaces and should only be lit in safe designated areas.

Anyone who spots a grass fire is asked to report it immediately to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a larger incident. People are also asked to give as much detail as possible and the name of the nearest main road.

People are urged not to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water. They should leave the area as quickly as possible and dial 999.

Extra caution should be taken when lighting barbecues and people should never use petrol as it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control. Only approved lighting fuels should be used and barbecues should only be used in suitable safe areas. They should never be lit indoors and never left unattended.

Land owners and land managers are advised to ensure that fire breaks or gaps in vegetation are well maintained and that the grass is kept short and any rubbish is removed from the site.

MF&RS Area Manager Myles Platt, said: "Firefighters have been called out to a number of accidental and deliberate grass fires.

"Deliberately starting fires on grassland and open spaces is arson and offenders will be prosecuted.

"If a fire appliance has to attend a grass fire that has been started deliberately it may delay the response to another emergency.

"Fires started on grassland near motorways and busy roads can cause smoke to drift across roads, creating a hazard for drivers.

"Some accidental fires can be avoided by following the simple safety measures we have highlighted.

"We want people to enjoy the parks and open spaces in Merseyside and to be as safe as possible from fire."

Firefighters also extinguished a grass fire near Tarran Way West in Moreton on Wednesday, April 10.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called out to the incident at 2.25pm. They tackled a number of seats of fire across a 10,000 square metre patch of land comprising grass and gorse.

Photo shows the grass fire near Tarran Way West in Moreton. Photo by Chris Phillips, MF&RS Copyright.

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