Warning over bonfires after two Fenland fires

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Residents are being warned to keep an eye on bonfires in gardens after two fires in Fenland grew out of control yesterday,

KEEP bonfires under control is the message from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service this Easter Bank Holiday.

We’re urging people to think twice about lighting a bonfire – especially in high winds – as they can quickly become out of control and spread.

Area Commander Ryan Stacey

The warning comes after crews were called out to two incidents within two hours of each other yesterday (Wednesday) – both sparked by out of control bonfires.

Area Commander Ryan Stacey, responsible for Community Fire Safety at CFRS, said: “The Easter break is a great opportunity for homeowners and businesses alike to have a clear out and spruce up their garden and many people will consider having a bonfire to burn garden waste or household items they no longer want.

“We’re urging people to think twice about lighting a bonfire – especially in high winds – as they can quickly become out of control and spread. Instead, we would suggest the public take waste to a local waste and recycling centre where it can be safely disposed of.”

The first incident, in Overstone Road, Coldham (Fenland), was extinguished by two crews from March. They were called at 8.03pm to a bonfire which had become out of control and used hose reels to extinguish it by 8.50pm.

A small bonfire made up of general rubbish got out of hand when it spread to a large pile of wooden pallets. This was in March Road, Coates at 8.29pm and a crew from Whittlesey put it out using hose reels, returning to their station by 10.10pm. The wind and close proximity of the bonfire to pallets and trees contributed to the spread.

Firefighters would also like to remind residents to be aware of fire risks if they are undertaking any DIY in their homes this weekend.

Ryan added: “Always check the task you are undertaking is within your capabilities and take expert advice. Fires can be ignited by paint strippers, appliances can be used incorrectly and dodgy DIY electrical wiring can put your property at risk.”