Emergency services have issued a fresh appeal for people to take care to prevent blazes on scrubland, following weekend fires in Thurstaston and West Kirby.
On Saturday afternoon, homes and premises near Thurstaston Common were evacuated – including Dawpool Primary School, Caldy Rugby Club and the Cottage Loaf pub, while part of Telegraph Road was closed for several hours.
And on Sunday, fire crews were called to a blaze on the grassy sand dunes adjacent to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club near Pinfold Lane, between West Kirby and Hoylake.
Merseyside Police have praised their blue light colleagues at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for a “fantastic job” getting the Thurstaston blaze under control, in what they say were “difficult conditions”.
They are warning people not to use disposable barbecues or leave discarded glass bottles, as both can cause fires.
They added: “Thankfully on this occasion no-one was hurt but a great deal of damage has been caused to the common.”
Fire chiefs have urged the public to be particularly careful during the unprecedented spell of hot weather, and issued the following advice:
- Ensure cigarettes are extinguished correctly and cannot reignite – don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground – take your litter home
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them)
- Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended
- If you see a fire, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately by calling 999 and give the nearest main road that the fire appliance can access
- Don’t attempt to tackle fires– leave the area as quickly as possible
Group Manager for Prevention, Mark Thomas, said: ‘The current conditions are creating the ideal environment for fires to start in woodland and grassland.
“We would urge the public to be especially careful in the hot weather and dispose of rubbish and barbecues safely.
“We would also remind, particularly parents, that deliberately setting a fire is arson. Deliberate fires are investigated.
“Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Arson Team will be working with Merseyside Police, Local Authorities and other partner agencies to identify offenders.
“Please speak to your children about the very real consequences of arson for them and others.”