Grassland arson attacks

A firefighter deals with a grassland fire also at The Common in April this year

Be vigilant – that is the message from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service after a series of possible arson attacks to gorse and grassland in south Shropshire.

Firefighters have attended nine fires around the Catherton Common area, near Cleobury Mortimer, in the past six weeks. They also attended another grassland fire on The Common in April this year. (pictured)

The fires broke out on August 1 with the last attack at 9.44pm on September 13 when multiple crews from Cleobury Mortimer, Ludlow, Bewdley and Tenbury Wells and two specialised 4 x 4 vehicles dealt with a large gorse fire on the Common.

It took firefighters four hours to put out the severe blaze.

“Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with police, the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and The Commoners Association to prevent these fires which are believed to have been started deliberately,” said Derek Taylor, Fire Crime Officer for the county brigade.

“These fires are taking up a lot of our resources. It means that while crews are tied up at these incidents, they are unable to respond to other emergencies where life may be at risk.”

Anyone with any information should contact the fire and rescue service on 01743 260200, police on 0300 333 000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

19th September, 2011