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Tree blazes hamper fire crews

FIREFIGHTERS in Maidstone say their time is being wasted by trees being continually set alight.

Crews fear the repeated call-outs to the Park Wood area could take them away from genuine emergencies.

The brigade has been called out to the area 10 times since Monday morning and were called out five times last night. The fires, in Bicknor Road, Wallis Avenue and Longshaw Road, were all attended by two Maidstone appliances.

Sub officer Chris Smith, from Blue Watch, said: “We have had a rash of mindless vandalism in Park Wood. We think youths are setting fire to large evergreens.

“They are not serious fires but they obviously call away both appliances from Maidstone which is a worry because there could be incidents happening elsewhere that really need to be attended.

“This is not an uncommon message from us, but it takes up our time. It leaves people that desperately need us, waiting for longer.”

Gianna Pollero, spokeswoman for Maidstone and Malling Police, said: “The fire station alerted us to the situation just before 9pm on Monday night.

"They had five calls to the same location. They found a number of big groups of lads hanging around a wood side area. We are investigating to see what exactly is happening.”

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