Staffordshire fire bosses issue Easter grass blaze warning

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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Flames Aren't Games Campaign.jpgStaffordshire fire chiefs have warned they could face a surge in grass fires in Stoke-on-Trent this Easter.

New figures show up to two thirds of grass fires take place during the Easter holidays, and 85% are started deliberately.

Now the fire service is re-launching its “Flames Aren’t Games” campaign to stop bored youths in Stoke-on-Trent from sparking grass fires across the city.

Latest figures also show 64% of grass fires in Tunstall in 2011 were started during the two-week Easter holidays.

There were 2,281 grass fires in 2013 across the county, with 1,143 of them located in North Staffordshire. Small fires including grass fires cause £8 million in damage across the county every year.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is placing campaign billboards around the county in a bid to send the number of incidents “plummeting”.

Billboards are now in place on High Street in Tunstall, as well as Stafford Road in Cannock, and on the ring road near Tamworth FC.

Glynn Luznyj, head of risk reduction at Staffordshire Fire Rescue, said: “We are committed to continuing to build upon what we have already achieved.

“Grass fires can be a particular problem during the warmer months and their tendency to spread rapidly can pose a real danger both to people and wildlife, potentially putting innocent lives at risk.”

Posters advertising the campaign will be displayed at community centres, youth clubs, children’s centres, schools and leisure centres across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in an attempt to educate youths about the serious dangers of fire.

Punishments for deliberately starting fires include up to two years in prison or a £5,000 fine.

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