Deliberately starting fires has serious consequences not only for offenders

STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service are urging parents to warn their children of the consequences of deliberately starting grass fires as the dry spell continues

Director of Prevent Glynn Luznyj said: “We are set to enjoy a warm and sunny weekend, but this means that the conditions will be very dry leaving heathland and beauty spots very fire prone.

“We’re calling for parents to warn their children about the dangers of starting fires and explain just how serious the consequences are; anyone starting fires deliberately could receive a £5,000 fine or a prison sentence.

“There is also the irreversible damage to the environment and wildlife, and the hours firefighters spend tackling these fires when they could be needed elsewhere.

“Likewise we ask that the public take care if they are out enjoying the countryside; make sure you dispose of cigarettes properly in dedicated bins, as it is not enough to simply drop them and stamp on them assuming they will be out.

“Never throw them out of car windows – they could start a fire and destroy the countryside. It only takes a very small amount of heat left in a discarded cigarette to ignite dry vegetation.

“This year’s Flames Aren’t Games campaign is underway; aiming to highlight the dangers of setting fires. Any fire has the risk of hurting someone but these grass fires are especially dangerous as they spread very quickly and take considerable to time to get under control, particularly in hot dry weather like we have seen over the last month.”