Firefighters blast arsonists responsible for Harlow 'wildfires'
FIREFIGHTERS have blasted arsonists responsible for a spate of meadow fires near Harlow town centre.
Crews have been called out to tackle several blazes in the Netteswell Plantation area in recenmt weeks, all of which have been started deliberately.
It is believed that in most cases those responsible have been setting light to discarded grass cuttings left near to the cycle paths linking the town centre with Tendring Road, although several bin fires have also been reported by residents.
An Essex Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: "Deliberately starting a fire like this is extremely irresponsible. They can easily burn out of control and spread causing widespread damage.
"These wildfires are not only dangerous themselves but they also risk lives by tying up crews who could be needed to carry out life-saving work elsewhere."
According to Harlow resident Cliff Moore – who sent in the picture above of firefighters extinguishing a blaze last Friday – locals are becoming increasingly alarmed at the number of fires in the vicinity.
"I regularly walk through the area and it’s very popular with families, so people are really starting to worry," he said.
"Although quite small in scale, some of these fires have been start¬ed very close to woodland – it would be a disaster if the flames managed to spread.
"The people responsible for this probably think it’s a just a bit of a prank, but they are potentially putting lives at risk."
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