News release text
Fires crews around the county were kept on their toes yesterday (Thursday) battling blazes around the county.
In just over a 24 hour period, crews were called to 30 outdoor fires but fortunately, despite damage to property and land, no one was injured.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s (KFRS), Head of Community Safety, Lee Rose said: “We would like people to take care and think about what they’re doing. For example, drivers please don’t throw cigarettes through car windows while driving as this, combined with dry grass verges, can easily lead to fires and threaten people, wildlife and buildings.
“If you’re out and about enjoying the lovely weather, please stay safe and be aware of fire hazards. Please take your rubbish home with you and remember even a glass bottle can start a fire on a hot sunny day.”
Firefighters spent over 18 hours tackling a fire involving three acres of pine needles in woodland in Wainscott. The 999 call was received at 1.25pm and crews worked exceptionally hard to bring the fire under control and stop it spreading. They used thermal imaging cameras to find hot spots to extinguish. Crews finally left the scene at 8.17am this morning (Friday).
A bonfire was also to blame for destroying a mobile home, a workshop and three MG sports car that were under renovation in Wateringbury Road, East Malling. Crews in breathing apparatus spent two hours fighting the fire using two hose reels and a main jet. A water shuttle was also in operation. They were called at 2.24pm and left the scene almost two hours later.
Elsewhere in the county, crews were called to a brazier fire that spread out of control in Green Street, Green Road, Dartford just before 3pm. The fire destroyed a caravan and two cars.
Three fire engines were called to a garden centre in Main Road, Knockolt at 12.30am this morning (Friday) to a fire involving timber, pallets and a fork lift truck. Crews used two jets and a hose reel to extinguish the blaze and were damping down hot spots and left the scene at around 3.30am.
Other fires included call outs to field, trees, undergrowth and scrubland alight, rubbish and bin fires at various locations around the county.
So if you’re out and about enjoying the good weather, please remember the following safety tips and help us prevent fires starting in the first place:
If you see heathland or countryside fires please call the fire service immediately on 999
Stub it out – always make sure cigarettes are properly extinguished. Carelessly discarded cigarettes can set light to grass verges and grassland areas
Don’t light fires in the countryside or drop litter which could be set alight
Don’t accumulate rubbish it can act as potential fuel for deliberate fire setters
Contact your local district or borough council to ask about disposal of unwanted furniture, or to report abandoned vehicles or fly tipped waste (Clean Kent 24 hour reporting line 0845 345 0210)
Extinguish bonfires and barbecues properly
Put matches and lighters away – they can be a temptation to young people
If you are a parent ensure that your youngsters are aware of the dangers of fire
If you see something suspicious or anyone attempting to light fires, please call the police immediately or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 (anonymously if need be)