Long hot summer saw 20pc spike in number of fires in county, figures reveal

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service dealt with 20pc more fires in 2018/19 than the previous year Photo:

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service dealt with 20pc more fires in 2018/19 than the previous year Photo: Norfolk fire service - Credit: Archant

The long and dry summer brought about a 20pc spike in the number of blazes Norfolk's firefighters were called to tackle in the past year.

Alan Jaye, station manager at Earlham fire station, at the blaze at a thatched house at Harris Green

Alan Jaye, station manager at Earlham fire station, at the blaze at a thatched house at Harris Green, near Long Stratton. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

In the 2018/19 year, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were sent to fight 2,636 fires - an increase of 446 on the previous year, including 664 arsons.

However, the roasting heat of last July, which brought with it a major spike in wild fires, has been attributed with causing the increase in demand, which saw around a 20pc increase in the number of blazes.

Alan Jaye, chairman of the Norfolk Fire Brigades Union, said: "It was particularly busy in July were we had an unprecedented level of wild fires, which did skew the figures somewhat.

"There was such a huge amount that it really pushed us to the limits."


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With the county experiencing another hot spell at the moment, Mr Jaye offered a number of pointers to help limit the chances of a repeat occurrence this summer.

He said: "It's important people really think about what things can lead to fires.

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"Personally, I do not think it will be quite as bad this year, a lot of farmers have cultivated their fields and it has not been quite as hot and dry."

Mr Jaye gave the following pieces of advice:

- Do not have barbecues in open fields - but if you do be sure to dispose of all your waste properly

- Do not smoke in open areas and whenever you finish a cigarette make sure it has been completely stubbed out.

- Always think carefully about what things can lead to fires

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