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Man arrested after bush fire

PUBLISHED: 10:36 09 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK police have arrested a man suspected of causing a large bush fire in Ipswich.

Huge flames took hold of gorse bushes on the edge of the golf course at Rushmere Heath at 3pm last Monday, which drew large crowds from onlookers.

SUFFOLK police have arrested a man suspected of causing a large bush fire in Ipswich.

Huge flames took hold of gorse bushes on the edge of the golf course at Rushmere Heath at 3pm last Monday, which drew large crowds from onlookers.

The fire was being treated by police as arson and, on Wednesday, a 17-year-old Ipswich man was arrested on suspicion of starting the fire. He was released on police bail pending further investigation.

Crews from both Princes Street and Colchester Road headquarters had to attend to the fire and spent at least an hour and a half making sure the smouldering bushes could not re-ignite.

The fire crews using beaters and water jets to quell the flames before they spread in the wind.

At the time of the fire, the cause was not known sub officer and Wayne Crabb put out a warning to the public to be careful of discarding rubbish and cigarettes or anything that could cause a fire in bushes or grass

After the arrest over Monday's fire, there have been three further fires on the heath this week, all in the afternoon.

Yesterday, one fire crew from Colchester Road attended a blaze involving 50 square metres of heath on Heath Road. The fire was bought under control in fifteen minutes.

Firefighters were also called to a heath fire on Rushmere Heath at 5.15pm on Tuesday and there was one on Wednesday at a similar time.

It is not known the cause of these three fires, but Suffolk Fire divisional officer Eddie Meelan put out a further warning yesterday to take care as the dry weather continues into September.

"I'd like to warn people again that we've had a long dry spell and the grass everywhere is dry. People need to make sure whether when walking on heath land or by the side of the road, or driving along in their car, not to throw cigarettes out of the window.

"I would ask people not to light fires in the countryside as it is very dangerous. It is still very dry and the potential for fires to spread is a real danger."

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