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Deliberate grass fires spark urgent call from firefighters

Deliberate grass fires spark urgent call from firefighters

19 June 2015

Firefighters have issued an urgent appeal to the public to help report any grass fires following a series of deliberately lit fires in the Herne Bay area. Firefighters have also asked that anyone reporting a fire to help pinpoint the precise location by looking for key landmarks that will help firefighters get to the fire as fast as possible.

Over a seven hour period on Tuesday afternoon (16 June 2015), Herne Bay firefighters were called to three scrubland fires in close proximity to the Thanet Way.

Firefighters were called just before 1pm to a large area of grass alight (approx. 2.5 acres). Crews used a hosereel jet and beaters to extinguish the fire. Around four hours later crews were called back to location near the previous fire, to find around three acres of grassland on fire, with a number of hot spots which meant the fires had been started deliberately. Firefighters were then called again at 7.31pm to a fire involving a small area of grassland and a tree that had been deliberately set alight.

Every year KFRS is called to fires that destroy thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. The dry weather that much of Kent is experiencing at the moment makes conditions extremely dangerous. Grass and crop fires can travel very quickly and change direction without warning. They can get out of hand fast and lead to extensive damage. Deliberately lit fires tie up resources which could be needed elsewhere for house fires or car crashes where lives may be at risk. 

Herne Bay Watch Manager, Tim Green, issued this appeal: ‘If you spot a fire while you’re outdoors, please call the fire service on 999 as early as possible. An early call could mean the difference between a small, easily controllable fire and a widespread, devastating fire. 

Tim added: ‘It can be hard to give the location for an outdoor fire, so please mention any landmarks that you can see such as pubs or churches in the area.’ 

Report any information on fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously if need be) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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