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Warning over outdoor fires

By Julia Collins
Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Stock image
Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Stock image

Eight fires in five days have led Thanet fire crews to issue an outdoor fire warning.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to be extra careful not to start fires outdoors after a series of incidents caused daily 999 calls across the island.

Callouts included unattended bonfires, a blazing field and dumped rubbish which had been set alight and firefighters fear that it is only a matter of time before an incident causes major damage or injury.

Margate crew manager Shaun Humphries said: “Its important for people to realise that outdoor fires can spread very quickly and divert crews away from other incidents such as road crashes and house fires, where lives may be in danger.”

On Thursday last week, one pump was called to an unattended bonfire in St Peter’s footpath, Broadstairs, and a similar incident occurred the following day on an industrial estate in Enterprise Road, Margate, where two crews tackled a large amount of trade waste that had been left burning unattended.

There were further outdoor fires in Dane Valley Road, Margate on Saturday, August 10, when undergrowth was destroyed by fire and, on Sunday 11 August, crews were called to Vere Road, Broadstairs at 10.15pm to reports of an unattended bonfire on an allotment.

Just 15 minutes later the same evening, firefighters were called to Park Road, Birchington, where about 150 metres of stubble was believed to have been set alight by children.

On Monday, August 12, Margate crews were called at 2.45am to an unattended garden bonfire in South Eastern Road, Ramsgate, and at 9.45pm they extinguished a small fire believed to have been caused when a local resident was burning garden waste in a stubble field.

Less than 30 minutes after returning from that incident, firefighters then tackled a blaze involving a large quantity of domestic waste. The fire spread to a fence and telegraph pole.

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