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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service warns of the danger of setting grass fires

13/4/2017

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people of the dangers of deliberately starting fires after a spate of blazes in the county’s countryside

People need to realise that starting fires is not funny, or clever. It is actually very dangerous and puts lives at risk. Our crews attend these incidents far too often and it is a significant impact on resources when there are people out there who genuinely need our help. The incident at Gentleshaw is a prime example of how our crews can be tied up for a considerable time."

Prevent Manager Carmel Warren


The Service has received 116 calls to fires in the outdoors since March 1. Each of these fires were found to have been started deliberately, including an incident at Gentleshaw Common near Chase Terrace which saw crews repeatedly called to the same area. The firefighters were at the common from Thursday April 6 to Sunday April 9 dealing with the incidents. At one point there were four separate blazes on the same stretch of land, requiring 40 firefighters from Chase Terrace, Cannock and Penkridge to deal with them.

As there were several areas of the common alight the Service was not able to establish a specific cause but the fires are believed to be suspicious and Staffordshire Police have been informed.

Cannock crews were then called to a similar incident on Monday, April 10 at 6.47pm in Valley Road, Hednesford.

Prevention Manager Carmel Warren said: “People need to realise that starting fires is not funny, or clever. It is actually very dangerous and puts lives at risk. Our crews attend these incidents far too often and it is a significant impact on resources when there are people out there who genuinely need our help. The incident at Gentleshaw is a prime example of how our crews can be tied up for a considerable time.

“It also put their lives and the lives of others at risk. The message is simple, flames aren’t games.

“This increase in fires coincides with the school holidays and we are aware that young people can be responsible for setting fires. We’d urge parents to warn their children about the dangers of starting fires and also the consequences – they could kill someone and if caught they could face a fine or even imprisonment.”