Drought leads to more fires

SUFFOLK'S spring drought goes on!The county has been basking in a run of dry and sunny days and while these may bring enjoyment for many, they also bring fire hazards.

SUFFOLK'S spring drought goes on!

The county has been basking in a run of dry and sunny days and while these may bring enjoyment for many, they also bring fire hazards.

Following a weekend which saw two areas of heathland near Ipswich go up in flames people are being advised to take care when out enjoying the fine spring weather.

Firefighters from Colchester Road and Princes Street, in Ipswich, took about half an hour tackling a blaze at Rushmere Heath, yesterday morning.

They were called to the heathland, off Heath Road, Ipswich, at 8.55am, and on arrival found 15 square metres of gorse on fire.

Later in the day, at 11pm, Holbrook firefighters attended an undergrowth fire at Pin Mill, Chelmondiston. The flames were under control by midnight.

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Only a week ago Ipswich firefighters were called to undergrowth fires in Morland Road, Catchpole's Way Pipers Vale.

Some of these fires are being treated as suspicious but people are being warned to take precautions to stop these fires starting by accident.

Following several weeks without significant rain, heathland and undergrowth around the county has become very dry and like tinder, ready to go up in flames in an instant.

Suffolk's community fire safety officer, Martyn Thorpe, recently warned that the most likely cause of moorland and woodland fires are matches or cigarettes carelessly dropped or by camp fires not properly extinguished.

Broken glass and bottles can also cause blazes as they magnify the sun's rays and heat up the grass or undergrowth below until it eventually catches fire.

In dry weather conditions these blazes become extremely dangerous as they spread quickly and often suddenly change direction.

Fire service advice for preventing these fires includes never throwing cigarette stubs out of car windows, not playing in hay or straw stacks and never using cigarettes or matches near them.

Weblink: www.suffolkcc.gov.uk/fire

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