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Kent Fire and Rescue Service have issued warnings to parents after a series of outdoor fires in Maidstone, Tonbridge and Cranbrook

By Ed McConnell

Children have been warned to be careful when playing outside following a spate of fires across Kent since the start of the school holidays.

Firefighters spent six hours tackling six blazes in Maidstone, Tonbridge and Cranbrook on July 30.

They were also called out to at least four blazes caused by groups of youths in other parts of the county on Monday.

A corn fire in Marden last week. Picture: Brian Chantler
A corn fire in Marden last week. Picture: Brian Chantler

The worst incident was a corn blaze on Blue Bell Hill, Maidstone, which caused traffic queues back to the Harvester roundabout at 4.45pm.

It took firefighters 40 minutes to bring it under control.

Crews were also called to an out-of-control bonfire in Beltring Road, Paddock Wood.

It started at 6.11pm and took an hour to be successfully contained.

Grassland at Bridge Mill Way in Tovil, Maidstone, was then set on fire in an apparent arson attack at 8.30pm.

Firefighters in Cranbrook also spent an hour attending to an unattended bonfire in Common Road, Sissinghurst.

Fire crews were sent to the scene. Stock image
Fire crews were sent to the scene. Stock image

KFRS community safety group manager, Alexa Kersting-Woods, said: “We’re asking parents to support us to find out about where their children are and what they’re up to during the summer holidays.

“Fires can quickly get out of control and young people can underestimate them.

“We don’t want to discourage young people from being outside, but fires are dangerous, people could be killed or seriously injured.

“This is not about spoiling people’s fun, we want everyone to have a safe and happy summer.”

Following the fires, KFRS has urged people to dispose of rubbish and cigarette ends carefully as even broken glass can cause fires on hot sunny days.

“If you’re planning on having a bonfire make sure it’s away from property, fences or trees and never leave any fire unattended,” added community safety head Lee Rose.

“If your bonfire gets out of control, never try to tackle it yourself, always call the fire and rescue service.”

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