Fire service campaign to avoid a repeat of last year’s hectic summer

STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has launched a campaign in a bid to stop a repeat of last summer’s horrendous number of call-outs to blazes

The campaign, titled ‘We Know What You Did Last Summer’, focuses on four main themes based on the most common courses of deliberate outdoor fires, accidental barbecue fires, deliberate bin fires and accidental smoking fires. 

In 2018, a long heatwave contribute to a huge spike in outdoor fires throughout Staffordshire, caused both deliberately and accidentally.

In July and August 2018 firefighters attended 1,475 grass and rubbish fires, 75 per cent (1,115) of which were started deliberately. This is more than double the number of deliberate fires in the same period of the previous year (388). 

Some of the areas are only just recovering from the devastation caused by the fires last summer, which endangered wildlife and ruined several beauty spots. They are only now beginning regrow.

The Service has worked closely with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to show the community the impact these incidents have on the great outdoors. 

Director of Prevent and Protect, Glynn Luznyj said: “Last year we saw an unprecedented number of fires in the open, which took up considerable time and resources for the Service.

“We had barely finished putting out one fire when we were called to another. Although we coped with the increased demand and utilised our partnership arrangements, we do not want a repeat this year, especially of the deliberate fires. 

“There is a significant cost to attending any serious fire and that is only heightened when the incident goes on for several days, as in the case of the Roaches fire. 

“No one wants to be responsible for destroying the environment and endangering wildlife. By following our advice and just taking that extra care, we can ensure that doesn’t happen.”