Public urged to take care in the Countryside

Wednesday, 8th August 2018

STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to take care when out enjoying the countryside after a disposable barbeque caused a large grass fire.

Fire Control received a report of a fire on Highgate Common, off Whitehouse Lane, Enville, at 2.40pm on Sunday, August 5.

Appliances from Wombourne, Cannock, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Penkridge and Kinver attended, along with the water carrier and Unimog from Cannock.

At the height of the incident, firefighters used seven hose reel jets, a main jet and beaters to tackle the flames which covered an area measuring around 100 metres by 50 metres.

Crews remained at the scene until around 9.40pm, returning at 5.23am and 1pm on Monday to carry out reinspections. They used two hose reel jets, backpacks and dug down to extinguish the remaining hotspots.

It is believed the fire was started deliberately and was caused by a disposable BBQ which was found in the middle of the affected area.

A firefighter dampens down after the fire.

A firefighter dampens down after the fire.

Station Manager Gary Fox said: “We’d urge people to take extra care when out enjoying the countryside during these dry hot conditions. Sadly, we’ve received information that this incident was started deliberately by someone placing the disposable bbq in an area of thick bracken.

“Please don’t risk using disposable BBQs in areas that are at high risk of fire such as Highgate Common; there is so much dry vegetation BBQs can quickly and easily spread and cause devastation to the local wildlife.

“Instead take a picnic to enjoy safely and please take your rubbish home with you, reflective items such as glass bottles can also start fires when combined with the intense sunlight.

“We’d also encourage people not to smoke in these areas, or dispose of cigarette ends out of car windows, it can take just one small ember to start a huge crop or grass fires.”