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15 May 2020

Renewed warning as deliberate fires continue

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is again urging people to stay alert and be vigilant in the countryside following a spate of deliberate fires in open spaces across the county.

The service has received dozens of calls to deliberate fires since the Covid-19 restrictions were introduced in March - this is on top of numerous accidental fires that have also been faced as a result of the dry, warm weather.

Last month firefighters attended two blazes in the Keswick area - one at Causey Pike (2 April) saw over 40 firefighters tackle a serious wildfire, while seven fire appliances dealt with a fire at Braithwaite on 13 April. There were also two wildfires in the Kendal area (both on 21 April), at Benson Knott Fell attended by six fire crews, and at Underbarrow attended by four appliances.

Craig Drinkald, Area Manager, Community Safety, for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “These deliberate incidents are causing firefighters to be taken away from what could potentially be real life-threatening emergencies at a time when the Service is supporting the emergency response to Covid-19.

“Fires that are caused deliberately or carelessly in the open can have devastating effects on the environment, but importantly endanger people’s lives and homes.

“Please help us to reduce demand at this time and ensure we are not over-stretched. Firefighters are working hard and we’re in the frontline with colleagues fighting against the coronavirus, still responding to emergencies and helping to look after the vulnerable in our society.”

How to reduce the risk of wild fires:

Dry ground means there's an added risk of a fire starting. Follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside:

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don't throw cigarette ends on the ground.
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
  • Don't leave bottles or glass in woodland - sunlight shining through glass can start fires.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately.

Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water - leave the area as quickly as possible.


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Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is again urging people to stay alert and be vigilant in the countryside following a spate of deliberate fires in open spaces across the county.