FIREFIGHTERS were called to three bonfire-related incidents and three cases of deliberately set fires in St Helens on Monday.

Crews attended three incidents related to bonfires only - after not having been called to any in 2017.

Across Merseyside there were 23 such incidents on Bonfire Night - up from 17 the previous year.

There were also three cases of incidents related to "deliberately set" fires, one more than the same date 12 months ago.

There were no firework-only related incidents in St Helens.

In total, fire control received 417 emergency 999 calls on November 5 in 2018, up 39.9% on 2017’s figure of 298.

Mike Buratti, Arson Team Manager for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of people across Merseyside enjoyed a safe Bonfire Night.

“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service received a large volume of calls, with our Control staff doing a fantastic job of handling them. Our Arson Team also spent the night in the community ensuring that members of the public were kept as safe as possible.

“On November 5, we take a tolerant view of bonfires - if they are in the open, supervised by adults and under control we do not extinguish them. Those we attended and put out yesterday - those included in our statistics - were all considered to be dangerous.

“Combined with two large-scale incidents, the bonfire-related activity tested the Service’s resources, though extensive advance planning and partnership work with Merseyside Police, local councils, schools and businesses in the run-up to Bonfire Night, helped reduce nuisance fires to keep people safe.

“In recent weeks, firefighters and the prevention team have been out in communities clearing away hazardous rubbish and fly-tipping, which could have been used as fuel for fires, and promoting the safe storage of wheelie bins to help prevent them becoming targets for arson.

“We are thankful to our communities for taking on board our safety messages and advice.”