|As a nation, as well as a county, we find ourselves in unprecedented times. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, like many other public sector organisations, is working hard to ensure we’re able to support the people of Lancashire, keeping communities safe by responding to incidents, doing what we can to protect the most vulnerable and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
However in recent weeks, the improving weather has brought with it a notable increase in nuisance fires across the county. From small bonfires in gardens to anti-social fire setting out in the community. It is an issue that Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and our partners within local councils are keen to address.
Indeed, we know that as a service we are not alone in seeing this trend. The National Fire Chief’s Council has recently commented on the irresponsible behaviour of individuals that are going out and starting these fires, whether it’s controlled burning that has got out of hand or there is malicious intent.
As we all begin to adjust to life under lockdown many of us will be looking to catch up on the odd job around the house. From clearing the garage and tidying up the loft, to sprucing up the garden. And, with many local councils running reduced waste collection services and closing recycling centres we are seeing many households think about bonfires as a way to remove waste.
We urge people to be considerate when it comes to burning waste and ask you not to do so at this time. Whilst the smells might be unpleasant the smoke could have more serious implications. Any neighbours with underlying respiratory issues, or even suffering from coronavirus itself could find their conditions aggravated by these fires.
We would ask that you compost what you can and hold on to any extra waste until normal waste collection services are resumed and/ waste recycling centres are reopened.
And to those individuals who seek to aggravate an already difficult situation we ask them to think about the wider consequences of their actions. Tying up valuable emergency service resources could have serious consequences for other people in the community who may genuinely really need our help.
We will continue to work with partners to investigate malicious, deliberate fires and would encourage anyone with any information about such incidents to come forward and speak to Lancashire Constabulary.
In the meantime, we ask that you consider your actions and do what you can to assist in supporting your community.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service