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Halton firefighters warn of the dangers of grass fires
A SPATE of deliberate grass fires have swept through Halton, putting lives at risk, causing damage and wasting lifesaving resources.
Crews were called to more than 40 separate incidents across Widnes and Runcorn in September alone.
Firefighters are urging residents to be vigilant and raise an alarm if they see anyone acting suspiciously.
Runcorn station manager Sean Henshaw said: "Grass fires can get out of hand very quickly, cause extensive damage and put lives at risk. They can also last for several days once a fire takes hold, using up valuable rire service resources which could be needed elsewhere.
"If a fire breaks out call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately. It can be hard to give the location for an open area so mention any landmarks, such as a public house or a church in the vicinity.
“Do not attempt to put the fire out yourself unless it is very small. Grass fire can travel very quickly and change direction without warning."
Firefighters say arsonists have damaged plants, trees shrubs and grassland.
Colin Heyes, arson reduction manager, said: "It's possible that opportunist arsonists may think they’re causing little more than a nuisance by setting light to grassland and trees but in reality these fires can quickly take hold and pose a major risk to life and property.
"The message from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service remains clear, tackling arson is everyone’s responsibility.
"Members of the public can help us by continuing to report any suspicious behaviour to the police.”
Anyone with information can call Cheshire Police on 101 or oranonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further information about reducing the risk of arson, visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk
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