Busy day for Wigan's firefighters as heatwave sees large number of grass fires

Record-breaking temperatures have been accompanied by a series of grass fires across Wigan, tying up firefighters throughout the day.
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The hot weather and lack of rain recently has led to grass being “tinder dry” and more likely to set alight, whether accidentally or deliberately.

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It has led to fire crews from stations across the borough being called to a number of incidents on Tuesday, including blazes in Wigan, Leigh and Hag Fold.

Firefighters have attended incidents across the boroughFirefighters have attended incidents across the borough
Firefighters have attended incidents across the borough
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Mark Anderson, watch manager at Hindley fire station, said: “Everything is tinder dry so we have been to lots of grass fires today. A lot of the time it may not be down to anti-social behaviour by youths, it could just be down to someone absently flicking a cigarette into a bush while walking their dog.”

While fire crews worked to bring the blazes under control, they were unable to attend other, potentially more serious, incidents happening at the same time.

Mr Anderson said: “It’s tied up all the pumps in the area that could have been going to house fires. Every pump in Wigan borough has been involved at some point during the day in extinguishing grass fires.

"A couple of hours ago there would have been no pumps available to go to a house fire because we were extinguishing grass fires.”

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Mr Anderson said fires can even start naturally, and need to be brought under control quickly so the flames do not spread.

"I would really like people people to give us an early warning if possible,” he said. “If they do see a grass fire, please call 999.”

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