Fury at another night of Wigan grass fires

Angry firefighters have once again hit out at youths deliberately lighting grass fires across Wigan.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 10:30 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:09 pm
Fire service

The fire service was once again given the run-around for hours on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning as yobs torched open land at several sites and then ran away.

Related: Firefighters' message to Wigan parents over spate of grass firesFirefighters said they had to attend as many as seven incidents overnight, following equally-heavy workloads earlier in the week.

Crews are sometimes having to visit hotspots including Phoenix Way in Ince, where the worst problems have been reported, the land behind Sports Direct's premises on Challenge Way and Montrose Avenue in Norley multiple times a day.

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Information about the culprits is being collected from Wiganers ringing the emergency services to alert them to the fires and passed on to the police.

Watch manager Carl Gleaves said: "The witnesses ringing in these fires are telling us they are being maliciously set by groups of youths who then run off. They think it's some sort of fun game.

"Phoenix Way is a real problem for us. We seem to be there between two and five times a day.

"It's very clear that this quantity of fires is not natural. From the way fires are being regularly lit at six or seven different spots in the borough it is quite obvious that this is being done intentionally.

"We are working with the police to identify those responsible and get something done about it.

"The biggest concern for us at the moment is the availability of engines to do our proper jobs."