Fires soar in rising temperatures

FIREFIGHTERS were called to a string of fires as the ground dried up in the sizzling weather over the weekend.

On Friday evening just before 7am they were called to the grounds of the Jarvis Hotel in Hemel Hempstead Road, Redbourn, where a bonfire had been left unattended. It took them around 20 minutes to deal with the incident to prevent the fire spreading across the dry land.

Immediately after that, fire crews were called to the HSBC Management Training Centre in Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood, where a 300 square metre area of grass had gone up in flames. Fire crews from St Albans and Garston fought to put out the blaze, which had started accidentally, with water and fire beaters.

At 9.45pm that evening the crews were called to Watford Road, St Albans, where a fire was found in an area of woodland. It is thought to have been started deliberately and firefighters used backpack sprayers and beaters to put out the fire, which took them around an hour.

On Saturday, at around 4.45pm, firefighters were called to Holyrood Crescent, St Albans, where they found 50 square metres of standing crop ablaze and it’s thought that fire was also started deliberately.

Shortly after leaving the incident, the one of the fire crews from St Albans was called to a fire in a private garden of a house in Cunningham Avenue, which took around 20 minutes to deal with and was logged as accidental.

Then at 6.15pm firefighters from Wheathampstead were called to Marshalls Heath Lane where they found a hedgerow well alight.

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The blaze, which started accidentally, was out within half-an-hour.

St Albans and Dacorum District Commander Simon Brown issued some important fire safety advice for people during the hot weather.

He said: “I’d like to remind people to take extra care during this spell of dry weather we are experiencing and to think about fire safety. Cigarettes and other lit materials should be properly extinguished and discarded safely as even the smallest flame can start a fire.

“Extra care should be taken when having bonfires and using barbecues; never pour flammable liquid on a bonfire or barbecue, never leave them unattended and make sure that all fire is fully extinguished after use.

“Don’t be tempted to light a fire when visiting the countryside and only barbecue in authorised areas. Remember to take your rubbish with you; especially glass bottles, as not only can they hurt people and animals; they can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire.”

He added: “A working smoke alarm will help keep families safe in the home by giving early warning if a fire does start. Make sure you test yours today.”