An evacuation operation is to begin in a cemetery after a fire that spread to the size of almost two football pitches.
The fire at Worthing’s Broadwater Cemetery is believed to have started when parched grass was ignited by a discarded piece of glass.
The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it was one of 15 fires present in the Worthing area that day, last Friday, and that glass was the most likely cause.
Worthing Borough Council has urged people to be more vigilant when disposing of waste, especially during hot times.
The City Council’s team of park rangers, along with volunteers, will now begin a cleanup of the cemetery.
The Friends of Broadwater Cemetery will also be involved to clean up and rake the burned areas.
Rangers said they are confident the grass and other foliage will return, but remedial action is being taken in the meantime.
Councilor Vicki Wells, Cabinet Member for the Environment Council, said: “First of all I would like to offer my condolences to the families of loved ones buried in the cemetery whose graves were affected by the fire.
“We will do everything we can to restore the graves to their original condition.
“Secondly, I have asked our park rangers to start cleaning up the area and raking up the burnt land so growth can return. I would also like to thank the Friends of Broadwater Cemetery who are joining them and are already doing an excellent job in this beautiful and peaceful place.”
She added she was grateful for the quick intervention of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, which prevented further damage.
The council said it will study whether more preventive controls can be carried out on discarded materials during future heat waves in fire-prone areas, reminding people to either take less home or to use the bins.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20670670.worthing-borough-council-begins-clean-broadwater-cemetery-fire/?ref=rss Worthing Borough Council begins cleaning up Broadwater Cemetery after the fire