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Safety warning after 100 grass fires tackled in space of a fortnight
9:46am Monday 15th April 2013 in News
ONE hundred grass fires broke out in St Helens within 12 days, sparking a safety warning.
In total there were 334 grass fires over the Easter break between Friday, March 29 and Tuesday, April 9.
Of those fires, there were 59 in Liverpool, 47 in Wirral, 68 in Sefton, 60 in Knowsley and 100 in St Helens.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service area manager Myles Platt, said: "Firefighters have been called out to a number of accidental and deliberate grass fires.
"Deliberately starting fires on grassland and open spaces is arson and offenders will be prosecuted.
"If a fire appliance has to attend a grass fire that has been started deliberately it may delay the response to another emergency.
"Fires started on grassland near motorways and busy roads can cause smoke to drift across roads, creating a hazard for drivers.
"Some accidental fires can be avoided by following the simple safety measures we have highlighted.
"We want people to enjoy the parks and open spaces in Merseyside and to be as safe as possible from fire."
Fire safety advice has been issued to the public who are using parkland areas as the milder weather approaches.
There are simple steps people can take to reduce the chance of a grass fire.
People should ensure cigarettes are extinguished properly and should not throw ends on the ground or out of vehicle windows.
Rubbish should be taken home and not left behind, especially glass bottles as they can magnify the sun's rays and start a fire. They can also injure people and animals.
Open fires should not be lit in parks and open spaces and should only be lit in safe designated areas.
Anyone who spots a grass fire is asked to report it immediately to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a larger incident.
People are also asked to give as much detail as possible and the name of the nearest main road.
People are urged not to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water. They should leave the area as quickly as possible and dial 999.
Extra caution should be taken when lighting barbecues and people should never use petrol as it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control.
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