Wigan firefighters are urging people to think twice before dumping rubbish amid an epidemic of antisocial fires.
Hindley fire crew has voice concerns about the growing number of deliberate fires being set in Platt Bridge, wasting firefighters’ time and resources.
Watch manager Mark Anderson believes that the perpetrators, who are believed to be between 16 and 20 years old, have been behind numerous fires in the past few months and believes that fly-tipping is aggravating the problem.
In the latest incident, the crew was called to reports of a blaze on Scafell Grove. On arriving, watch manager Anderson said that there were four people in their late teens who he also believed were the same group throwing stones at firefighters earlier in the week.
“I went over to speak to them and they ran off,” he said. “There’s evidence of quite a number of fires in that same area. We are going to have to do something about this area. There’s too many incidents of antisocial fires.
“They have started building them under the bridges on the footpaths, so resident see them and call them in.
“The response from the police has been really good. Officers came down there and started looking for the people who were doing it.
“Once the police turned up, whereas we usually get two or three in that area in a night, there weren’t any more after that.”
The frustrated fireman has appealed for Platt Bridge residents to refrain from dumping any rubbish as he believes that fly-tipping could be giving the arsonists ammunition.
“This time it was just branches and things found on the floor,” he said. “But there have been other occasions where they have pulled fence panels off and set fire to them.
“People do dump stuff down there and there is rubbish there now which I have no doubt will at some point be set on fire.
“We do call the council when we see evidence of fly-tipping but unfortunately there’s that much of it it’s not possible to remove it all.”
Watch manager Anderson has urged anyone who witnesses fly-tipping to call the council, or failing this, the fire service if the material is believed to be a hazard.
Any suspicious behaviour should be reported to police on 101.