A STARK warning has been issued by firefighters following a spate of deliberate fires in Runcorn.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is concerned after vandals torched grass and hay fires around Runcorn Town Park.

Runcorn station manager, Sean Henshaw said: "Over the past few days we have seen a sharp increase in the number of deliberate fires we have been called to deal with.

“I cannot stress enough how dangerous this sort of activity is.

“We need the support of everyone to prevent such fires and stop arsonists before they cause even more damage to the neighbourhood or, worse, injure or even kill a member of the community.

“I would urge anyone with information about who might be responsible for these incidents to report what they know to Crimestoppers, which can be done anonymously, on 0800 555 111. “ Eleven separate arson attacks have occurred since last Thursday, September 6.

These include two grass fires, one in Eanleywood Lane and one in Castlefields Avenue on September 6. There were two further incidents on September 8 in Fleetwood Walk, Murdishaw, and again on Castlefields Avenue.

Crews were then called to a further five incidents on September 9. Two in Fleetwood Walk, one at Norton View, one at Tower Lane and one at Halton Lodge Avenue.

Anyone with information can call Cheshire Police on 101.