Stop press: another fire ongoing (Sunday, 9th April 2017, 3pm)
I was elsewhere yesterday afternoon as it’s good cycling weather – but I noticed from social media feeds and enquiries that there was a grass fire on Gentleshaw Common towards the evening.
Heath fires are sadly common in dry weather like this, and although it’s easy to blame vandals, such fires are very easy to start accidentally by discarded cigarettes and other means, so take care if you’re out on the commons or heaths locally.
Incident update on Gentleshaw Common involving a very large heath land including trees.. pic.twitter.com/fw06pQ1feK— Martyn John Wulfran (@thewulfran) April 8, 2017
Fire crews still on scene on Gentleshaw Common involving a very large area of heath land & trees.. pic.twitter.com/zneuEGpLOj— Martyn John Wulfran (@thewulfran) April 8, 2017
Attending the incident on Gentleshaw Common noticed that the heath land & grass is very dry resulting in the recent fires..— Martyn John Wulfran (@thewulfran) April 8, 2017
i saw the massive smoke plume around 5.15 whilst driving through Norton.Went out to take a photo an hour later and it was mostly out.— The Life of Brian (@mateybloke) April 9, 2017
However, if you know of any vandal related activity leading to this or any other fire in the locality – including the horrible one at Coppy Nook playground last week, do contact the police or Crimestoppers.
Given that the deer – at the moment, they’ll be with young, and thus extra nervous – inhabit the commons, any such fire brings the added danger of terrified, bolting deer. One can only imagine the possibilities.
Walkers and cyclists? Don’t smoke in these areas, please. Use a little common sense. We don’t want to see the common devastated again like it was in 1976. Cheers.