Firefighters attend 163 incidents across Norfolk over sweltering weekend
PUBLISHED: 14:44 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:20 24 July 2018
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they attended 163 incidents over a weekend of unrelenting heat across the county.
The service also said that some of the fires had been caused by deliberate or careless actions.
A period of sustained hot and dry weather has seen an increase in fires, but the public have been urged to do their bit to minimise risk.
Of the 163 incidents over the weekend 37 were in open areas, including six in Mousehold Heath.
There were also numerous woodland, scrubland and moorland fires.
The work of the service was praised by Norfolk County Council, who said the control room had received more than 450 in the last four days.
Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the communities committee at the council, said: “Our service continues to show its dedication and commitment in the face of high levels of demand, and we would like to thank all those staff across the whole service for going above and beyond to keep Norfolk in safe hands.
“Our staff across the service are demonstrating their ongoing round the clock dedication to keeping Norfolk safe.
“It is vital that everyone helps to minimise the risk of causing wildfires. We would encourage people to avoid creating naked flames in this weather. Even a piece of glass left in the sun can cause a fire, so please be careful to dispose of litter and clear up after yourselves.
“Please be particularly aware of the dangers of campfires, bonfires, tea lights and portable barbecues and heed safety advice.”
David Ashworth, Norfolk’s chief fire officer, said those deliberately starting fires are putting people at risk.
He said: “A lot of the crews are going from one fire to another and that is tiring for the whole-time staff, who are there for nine or fifteen hours at a time.
“With the summer holidays, historically that’s a time when we see an increase in deliberately started fires.
“That puts my crews at risk and puts other people at risk at a time when there is a significant influx of visitors coming into the county.”
If you witness any suspicious behaviour, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.