FIREFIGHTERS have issued a stern warning amid a string of severe wildfires.
After the prolonged drought, the number of forest fires in West Sussex increases.
Firefighters have attended 32 grassland fires since July, with a third of those incidents occurring between August 1 and 9.
Recent serious incidents included two field fires in the afternoon of Tuesday 9 August.
The Fire Service received multiple 999 calls about a large field fire near Clay Lane, Fishbourne.
Crews stayed at the scene for some time, huddling and looking for hotspots.
A total of around 20 hectares of grassland were destroyed.
At the same time the fire service received a call regarding a field fire at Yapton Lane, Walberton.
At peak times, five fire engines and five SUVs were on site fighting the fire, which covered 15 hectares of grassland.
A joint investigation into the cause is now being carried out with Sussex Police.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Head of Prevention Nicki Peddle is urging people to be vigilant and use combustible materials responsibly after attending a series of wildfires in Houghton, Fishbourne and Walberton.
“Because it’s the summer holidays, more people are enjoying the sun and hanging out with their friends, which we encourage,” he said.
“However, we urge people to put fire safety first and consider potential risks in our communities.
“Using disposable BBQs on grassland, campfires and throwing cigarettes out of car windows can be extremely dangerous in this dry weather and start wildfires.
“However, there are hidden fire safety risks, such as leaving litter on the ground. As such, we would also encourage people to pick up rubbish when they see it to minimize the risk of a fire breaking out.
“In the current climate it is important that we are made aware of fires quickly to stop the spread. So do not hesitate to call 999 if you think there is a fire and go to a safe place immediately.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20625837.firefighters-issue-stern-warning-amid-string-wildfires-sussex/?ref=rss Firefighters are warning of a string of wildfires in Sussex