London grass fires inferno warning

London grass fires inferno warning

04 May 2011

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United Kingdom — Firefighters are warning London could be hit by a “raging inferno” grass fire disaster if people are not careful.

Hundreds of firefighters have been tackling grass and forest fires across the UK over the past week.

The blazes have been brought on by the recent hot weather following the warmest April on record.

A team of 25 London firefighters have been in Berkshire helping to fight a massive blaze in a forest near Ascot.

Londoners are being urged to take care so the capital does not see similar scenes.

Councillor Susan Hall, chairman of London Fire Authority’s community safety committee, said: “People think this couldn’t happen in London but we get called to thousands of grass fires each year.

“There are a lot of parks in the capital and the risk from grass fires is high as they can spread to nearby buildings.

“The grass is just so dry at the moment, all it will take is a dropped cigarette or an ember from a barbecue and we could be faced with a raging inferno almost straight away.”

Grass and forest fires account for over one in 10 of all fires attended by the brigade.

London Fire Brigade has attended almost 3,000 grass and forest fires in the past year and this April there was a 50 per cent rise in the number of grass fires compared with last April.

The main causes of accidental grass fires are barbecues, cigarettes, discarded matches and glass bottles which can concentrate the sun’s rays.

Firefighters advise barbecues are never left unattended and are completely out after being used.

Cigarettes should be carefully disposed of and lit cigarettes should not be thrown out of car windows.

The brigade advises that if you see a grass fire, you should not attempt to put it out yourself.

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