FIREFIGHTERS across Cambridgeshire are dealing with an increase in fires in gardens and open spaces, which could be down to the warmer weather.

FIREFIGHTERS across Cambridgeshire are dealing with an increase in fires in gardens and open spaces, which could be down to the warmer weather.

Normally, fire control room operators receive 30 to 40 emergency (999) calls from members of the public per day, but on Monday this figure increased to 57.

The busiest time of day was 5.30pm to 7pm, when a total of 16 emergency calls were received in just an hour and a half.

The majority of incidents were accidental but the fire service is warning that devastating fires are often started by something as small as a carelessly-discarded cigarette or an unattended bonfire or barbecue.

Wendy Coleman, community safety officer, said: "The high number of incidents last night demonstrates the risk of accidental fires during the warm summer months.

"All these fires are preventable, as long as people remain aware of the risks when they are making the most of the warmer weather with bonfires and barbecues.

"We don't want to stop people having fun in the warm weather. We are just reminding residents that it is easy to enjoy the sun and stay safe by following our safety advice."