Firefighter's fresh safety warning after latest blaze breaks out at Dartford Heath

PUBLISHED: 13:38 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 21 June 2017




It is the seventh fire to break out this year

Flames rose above Dartford Heath once again this week as firefighters have made a fresh safety calls.

On Tuesday, crews were called out for the seventh time this year, and the third this month, to deal with a part of the heathland on fire.

Around 100 square metres was ablaze, with crews called just after 6pm, sending in three fire engines and an all-terrain vehicle to battle the flames.

Crews managed to put out the fire by 6.50pm using hose reels and a specialist fogging unit, which helps to spread water across larger areas, eventually leaving the scene at 7.30pm.

There were no injuries reported in the fire, but a senior firefighter for the borough has reminded the public of the importance of fire safety, especially during the summer months.

Watch manager in Dartford, John Allwright said: “With the exceptionally warm weather, heathland, grassland and grass verges can become tinder dry.

“If you’re out enjoying the good weather, please take extra care not to cause a fire.

“Don’t drop cigarette butts or leave glass bottles on the grass. They can quickly spark a blaze causing devastation to flora, fauna and wildlife.

“If you see a fire please phone 999 immediately and ask for the fire service. Try to give as much information as you can with regard to the location of the fire. Is it near a main road, a prominent landmark such as a church or pub? Dartford Heath has numbered marker posts – give the number and if it’s safe to do so, wait for the fire service to arrive so that you can point crews in the right direction.”

Last month fire fighters had to warn residents to be vigilant against people deliberately setting fire to parts of the heath, with fellow watch manager Vince Lewis warning the blazes are “putting lives at risk” in the area.

Anyone with information on suspected arsonists - no matter how small the incident may be - is urged to either contact the Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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