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Deliberate outdoor fires soared in 2018

29 July 2019

STAFFORDSHIRE FIRE and Rescue Service is pleading with the community to help them keep the number of deliberate outdoor fires down this summer, in the hope of not repeating the drain on our resources we experienced last year.

In 2018, the Service saw 1,115 outdoor fires started deliberately, 860 of which involved grass and rubbish, taking up valuable firefighters’ time. 

Following the spate of grass and rubbish fires in July and August, SFRS has launched its ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ campaign, to highlight the dangers of starting fires and what could happen to you and the environment as a result. 

Anyone caught starting a fire deliberately could receive a £5,000 fine and face time in prison. This is why the Service is working closely with its partners to support diversionary activities to keep young people busy over the summer holidays. However, SFRS is asking that parents to explain to their children what can happen if they start a blaze. 

Director of Prevent and Protect, Glynn Luznyj, said: “It was extremely frustrating for all of our staff last year who were under immense pressure during the high demand, especially when they were working tirelessly to tackle blazes, only to see people setting more fires in nearby fields. 

“Help us by being vigilant and keeping an eye out for any suspicious behaviour. If you spot anything that causes you concern, call the police. If you think someone is starting a fire, do not hesitate to call us. Outdoor fires can spread extremely quickly, causing horrendous damage to the environment and putting homes at risk.”