Nuisance fires continue in west Cumbria

Cumbria fire and rescue service are warning of the dangers of nuisance fires after a dramatic rise in incidents across the county.

Live updates

Two more fires started overnight

Another two nuisance fires have been started in west Cumbria since 8pm last night (11th April).

Two fire engines were called to an incident in New Road, Whitehaven, at around 8pm last night, where around 200 square metres of gorse and grassland was alight.

One fire engine attended a second incident in South End, Wigton, at around 5.30am this morning, where hedgerow had been set on fire.

Anyone with information on either fires is asked to contact police on 101 or Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.

Nature reserve fire damage "will take months to repair"

Staff and conservationists at Siddick Ponds Nature Reserve are beginning to assess the damage caused by a large fire on Tuesday night (9th April).

Fire crews spent four hours trying to extinguish the fire at the reserve, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the species that live in its wetlands habitat.

The large reed beds and extensive open waterhabitat attract rare and endangered bird species.

“This is devastating for the nature reserve and it is heartbreaking to see the damage that has been caused.

"It’s nesting season so this is the worst possible time of year for this to happen. We will be looking closely at our bird populations to see what the lasting impacts are.

"The vegetation will regrow and repair itself over time but it is going to take many months before that happens.”

– Councillor Michael Heaslip, Allerdale Borough Council


1km grass fire near Cleator Moor

Six fire engines attended a grass fire stretching more then one kilometre in length last night (10th April).

Grass and gorse was set on fire at Cobble Hall near Cleator Moor in west Cumbria.

The fire is the latest in a spate of nuisance fires, with the fire service estimating that more than 60 fires have been deliberately started in the past two weeks alone in the county.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service believe the fires are a result of the Easter school holidays, and are urging parents to be extra vigilant.

Below is some footage from the gorse fire at Cobble Hall last night:

Nature Reserve fire latest in arson attacks

The area is a site of special scientific interest because of the wildlife it supports Credit: ITV News Border

Fire fighters from across west Cumbria attended a wildlife fire last night (9th April) which engulfed the Siddick Pond Nature Reserve.

The Reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the species that live in its wetlands habitat.

The fire is being treated as suspicious.

Half of the reed bed has been destroyed Credit: ITV News Border


Attending to nuisance fires 'drains resources'

"We are into double figures with the number of nuisance fires we have had to tackle in the last 24 hours alone.

"In west Cumbria we were called out 13 times. These types of fires take time to put out and could delay us getting to a serious emergency where people really need our help.

"We simply can not be in two places at once and our resources are stretched."

– Adrian Holme, Station Manager at Cockermouth, Keswick, Wigton and Workington fire stations

Warning after spate of west Cumbrian nuisance fires

People are being warned about the dangers associated with nuisance fires, following a spate of incidents in the west Cumbria.

Firefighters in in the county have attended around 50 incidents over the past week.

The grass and rubbish incidents were deliberately set off in Frizington, Workington, Cleator Moor, Seaton and Maryport.

Firefighters from Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service are warning the public that these 'nuisance fires' can put lives at risk:

"These fires are putting lives in danger and I'd urge anybody considering creating a blaze of this nature to think of the potentially fatal consequences of their wreckless actions.

"Dealing with so many avoidable incidents over the weekend really stretched our resources and meant that we were needlessly tied up rather than being available for more serious emergencies.

"Deliberate fires, particularly those involving grass and gorse, can spread rapidly and quickly get out of control endangering lives and property."

– Adrian Holme, Station manager, Cockermouth, Keswick, Wigton and Workington fire stations
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