Fire crew call-outs double in the heat

CALLS to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have doubled during the hot spell as dozens of outdoor fires and false alarms are reported each day. The service said between 23 and 35 outdoor fires were reported every day last week, with up to 100 calls a

CALLS to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have doubled during the hot spell as dozens of outdoor fires and false alarms are reported each day.

The service said between 23 and 35 outdoor fires were reported every day last week, with up to 100 calls a day, twice the usual number.

On Friday there were four stubble fires at the same time in Cambridgeshire, including one at Little Staughton and one in Brampton (pictured above). On Monday there were 20 outdoor fires, ranging from small grass fires to crop fires, across the county. And yesterday, (Tuesday) 25 tons of baled straw in Holme Road, Yaxley, was reported ablaze at 16 minutes past midnight.

A fire crew from Sawtry was first on the scene and the fire took four hours and two crews to put out.

The blaze across 40 acres in Little Staughton on Friday took three fire crews an hour to bring under control. While at the same time in a field off Belle Isle Crescent at Brampton, three more crews - two from St Ives and one from Huntingdon - and a water carrier, took an hour to put the blaze out. There were also fires in March and at Bourne Bridge near Sawston, which took three hours to get under control.

The service said it is also having to deal with many false alarms with businesses' fire alarms going off in the heat. The service is currently attending an average of 21 false automatic fire alarm (AFA) calls a day across the county. Cambridgeshire already has the highest number of AFA activations per 1,000 population in the country, a spokesman said.

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The fire service is urging businesses to take measures to stop their alarms going off needlessly.

Fire signal manager, Paul Clarke, said: "You wouldn't think that a fire alarm that is triggered by smoke can go off just through hot weather but it happens and we treat every automatic fire alarm call as we would any other emergency.

"We are devising measures to address this issue, including visiting premises with high levels of AFAs and producing a DVD for businesses to raise awareness."

The weekend, which brought rain, was reported quieter with only 10 calls to outdoor fires each day on Saturday and Sunday.

INFORMATION: For advice on reducing unwanted fire signals on your premises, contact Paul Clarke on 01223 376261 or e-mail paul.clarke@cambsfire.gov.uk

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