FIRE chiefs are warning that lives are being put at risk after a spate of grass fires at a South Tyneside park. The message comes after crews tackled three grass fires at the weekend, and several others over the last three nights.
The small blazes on fields at Temple Memorial Park, South Shields, are believed to have been started by youngsters.
Today, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service is warning those responsible that their reckless behaviour is diverting vital resources from where they are needed most, putting other people’s lives at risk as well as their own.
Mick Edwards, station manager at South Shields Community Fire Station, said: “This behaviour ties up valuable resources which could be needed at a more serious incident.
“We are out regularly to deliver a schools’ education programme, highlighting the danger of fires and the risks. We have also delivered the community safety message to every comprehensive school in South Tyneside in the past year.
“Grass fires not only put lives at risk but those who start them are also putting their own lives in danger and this is something we don’t want to see.
“Grass fires can spread quickly and move to properties, causing a more serious incident with greater consequences.”
Firefighters are now urging those responsible to think about their actions before someone dies in a fire because local crews are elsewhere.
At the weekend, crews tackled a blaze on Temple Park fields at 7pm on Sunday, only to return an hour later after grass was again set alight.
And crews were called out for similar incidents on Temple Park on three consecutive evenings this week.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is working alongside its partners at South Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police to tackle anti-social behaviour involving fires.