Caution still advised as major incident stood down in Suffolk
The major incident declared by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service yesterday has ended but, with more dry weather forecast, people are urged to be fire aware.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service was called out to a significant number of incidents on Tuesday 19 July, of which 49 were fires in the open.
Some of the incidents involved the service assisting colleagues over the county’s border, with Cambridgeshire and Norfolk also declaring a major incident.
Although Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service remains exceptionally busy, it is no longer in major incident status following a reduction in call outs today.
However, with more dry weather and high temperatures forecast for the next week – and Latitude Festival taking place at the weekend – Suffolk residents are still being encouraged to reduce the risk of fire over the coming days.
Anyone visiting open spaces should avoid barbecues and dispose of their litter, glass bottles and cigarettes properly to help stop wildfires.
Farmers are also being asked to play their part to protect our rural county, with an increase in field and crop fires seen over recent days. To avoid these spreading, hay and straw should be stored properly, with a break between stacks, away from other buildings, especially those housing livestock or containing fuels and chemicals.
Jon Lacey, Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, commented:
“The major incident was incredibly challenging for our service and involved our firefighters tackling incidents in extreme temperatures, our control room taking an exceptional number of calls, and our management team working around the clock to ensure that we could continue to attend incidents despite our resources being significantly stretched.
“I’d like to thank all my colleagues, including those working behind the scenes to handle calls or maintain our fire engines. It really has been a team effort and we also extended this further by continuing to support services over the border as part of our partnership working arrangement.
“Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has been humbled by the outpouring of public support that we have received since declaring a major incident, with many Suffolk residents showing their gratitude and appreciation to us. I’d ask that they continue to support us by being fire aware to help ease the demand on our service over the next few days.”
Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, added:
“It is good news that the major incident has now been stood down, but this doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods yet, especially as more dry weather is forecast over the next week.
“Everyone still needs to mindful about fire risks – it only takes one bit of thoughtlessness, such as throwing a cigarette out of a car, to start a major wildfire that requires our firefighters to spend hours putting it out, so please do think twice before leaving litter lying around or having a barbecue.
“I am incredibly proud of our fire service for having the foresight to put plans in place to ensure that they could continue to serve our communities efficiently and effectively during the heatwave and, like many of our county’s residents, I’m also grateful to all those staff who have gone above and beyond to protect Suffolk even in the most adverse of firefighting conditions.”
Further advice on staying fire safe during the summer months can be found on Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s website, with guidance also being shared regularly on their Facebook and Twitter channels.