Increase of nuisance fires on Bonfire Night

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FIREFIGHTERS in St Helens were called out more than 10 times to nuisance fires on Bonfire Night.

Crews had to attend 12 incidents caused by anti-social behaviour, classed as deliberate secondary fires and included wheelie bin blazes and bonfires.

One of these included a bonfire in a park near Dudley Place in St Helens at around 9.50pm and firefighters were there for around 20 minutes.

Across Merseyside, the fire service was called out to 79 nuisance fires on November 5.

Of those there were 34 in Liverpool, 17 in Wirral, 12 in St Helens, nine in Sefton and seven in Knowsley.

This was an increase from the 61 incidents attended across Merseyside on November 5 last year.

A bonfire safety campaign has been carried out by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and local authorities with the aim of preventing deliberate fires caused by anti-social behaviour.

Watch Manager Ian Mullen, Arson Reduction Co-ordinator at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “There was an increase in the number of fires caused by anti-social behaviour attended by firefighters in Merseyside on Bonfire Night.

“Many of these were small bonfires and wheelie bin fires however these fires can be unpredictable and can easily spread. If firefighters are called out to deliberate fires this can delay a response to other emergencies.

“We would urge people not to leave wheelie bins out after the rubbish has been collected and not to dump rubbish where it could be set on fire.

“This year we have worked with our partners to reduce deliberate secondary fires leading up to Bonfire Night. This work has included the launch of our bonfire safety film, which has been presented at schools across Merseyside and has been well received. The aim of that was to educate young people to help keep them safe over the bonfire period.

“People can report unlit bonfires or the storage of bonfire materials by calling 0800 731 5958. Outside of office hours people should please leave a message with details and a contact number.”