Update on woodland and grassland fires

Cleveland Fire Brigade has been tackling large and dangerous woodland and grassland fires all over the bank holiday weekend, which they are continuing to monitor and assess today.

Four main areas which include Guisborough woods, Eston Hills, Liverton Moor and the most recent Errington Woods were all affected. Two crews are continuing to carrying out checks.

Andy Robinson, Group Manager Emergency Preparedness said:

Over the weekend our firefighters have been working in extremely arduous conditions tackling these fires. At times we have had to commit more than half of the Brigades resources to them due to the nature of the fires and the areas they are in, some of which are difficult to access. Our Control room has also been extremely busy taking over 200 calls.

These fires are extremely dangerous and are still continuing to have devastating effects on the environment, wildlife and local communities. They have also been affecting roads, local farms and those living in the areas.

We have been working closely with the Forestry Commission and will continue to do so. They have been using large water containers to help douse the flames which at times were 30ft high. We are also working closely with Cleveland Police and we are committed to prosecute anyone found to be deliberately starting these fires.

Whilst there is no current suggestion that these fires have been started deliberately we would ask if anyone has any information they should contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We would urge people to stay away from these areas, to be aware of discarding cigarettes in grassland and report any fly tipping. We would also ask parents to ensure their children are staying away from these highly dangerous areas and are not carrying lighters or matches.”