Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have been called out to close to 80 false alarm incidents caused by bonfires during the coronavirus lockdown.
Last week alone, crews in the county attended incidents including in Gainsborough, Gedney Hill and Sibsey. These incidents are using up valuable resources for fire crews in the county and putting additional pressure on the emergency services.
Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have compared the figures from March 24, 2020 until April 20 with the same four week period of 2019, with the latest figures more than double compared with last year.
In 2019, they had 30 false alarms incidents caused by bonfires. Although the figure for the same period in 2020 is much higher at 77, they were all from callers with good intentions thinking there really was a fire.
In the same four week period in 2020, local crews dealt with 48 fires caused by fire spreading from a controlled burn/bonfire compared with 35 the year before.
As there has been a reduction in fire incidents overall, it means this represents a higher proportion of fire incidents that firefighters are dealing with (32% as opposed to 19% of primary and secondary fires).
Dan Moss, Prevention & Protection Manager at Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, recently said: “Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue would like to advise that if you are going to have a bonfire in your garden, please consider where you’re going to have the fire.
“Never start to burn anything and decide to have a fire that’s close to anything that has the potential for the fire to spread to it. For example, sheds, hedges, trees or worst case scenario, close to the house where potentially if the fire was to get out of control it could spread.”
Before the Easter bank holiday, firefighters in Lincolnshire attended fires, including in a tree near Crowland, a hedge in Wainfleet and sparks from an incinerator, which caused a large blaze at a garden centre in Fishtoft.
Examples of more recent bonfire-related incidents attended during lockdown, include the following:
- Wednesday, April 15 – crew from Lincoln North attended St Andrews Drive in Lincoln at 7.07pm. There was fire damage to four metres squared of conifer trees and garden fence. The fire, which was caused by embers from a BBQ, was extinguished using one hose reel
- Friday, April 17 – reports of an unattended bonfire on Albany Road in Louth at 1.19pm. Upon arrival of the crew, this was controlled burning with the owner in attendance and no action was taken
- Friday, April 17 – reports of a fence on fire at 12.10pm on North Road in Gedney Hill. The crew extinguished the fire using two hose reels, which was caused by embers from a nearby bonfire igniting a wooden fence
— Lincs Fire & Rescue (@LincsFireRescue) April 24, 2020
- Friday, April 17 – reports of an out of control bonfire in a field off the A16, Sibsey at 11.31am. On arrival this was controlled burning with the owner in attendance and no action was taken
- Sunday, April 19 – fire incident in Laughton Forest, Gainsborough at 9.16am. Fire damage was caused to 10 metres x 10 metres of tree scrub. It was caused by an unattended camp fire and was extinguished using one cobra lance