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Firefighters warn youths to stop risking lives after tackling several fires

Firefighters have warned youths about starting fires in grassland
Firefighters have warned youths about starting fires in grassland

Firefighters are desperately appealing for young people to stop risking people’s lives after several grass fires were started deliberately throughout the day.

Wigan firefighters have attended fires in the town centre, Standish, Billinge, Aspull and Orrell today (Thursday), all of which have been “nuisance” fires believed to have been set deliberately.

Police have been informed and in a couple of instances eye-witnesses have reported seeing youths running away from the scene.

Watch manager Carl Gleaves, said: “There have a been a number of nuisance fires that are otherwise engaging the fire service.

“It is the start of the school holidays so it is probably to be expected on quite a sunny day. Fortunately none of them have been bigger than “managable”.

“The really startling thing is that the messages sent out from the Winter Hill fire seem to be driving people to do it more because it is in the public eye so much.

“Our message is clearly “do not do this”.

“There is a real risk for us, if you look at incidents like last week when we were being called out every ten minutes on a grass fire - in the brief spell where we weren’t we had to pull someone from a burning building.

“These things do happen and if we are tied up elsewhere we cannot be available where people may really need us.”

Watch manager Gleaves said that he is “concerned” that the fires were not linked and appear to have been set by different people in different areas.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101.