Fire chiefs: ‘Bonfires put undue pressure on emergency services’

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue attended the incident.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue attended the incident. - Credit: Archant

Fire chiefs are urging residents to avoid having bonfires, which they say could put pressure on emergency services.

Over the last five days, Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has been deployed to 30 bonfires, which it says has delayed and hindered crews’ ability to respond to potentially life-threatening incidents.

Simon Shilton, AF&RS assistant chief fire officer, said: “We have seen a large uptake in calls regarding bonfires or unattended fires.

“Every time we respond to one of these incidents, our crews are delayed assisting with life-threatening incidents.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we would ask all members of the community to consider the impact on emergency services before taking part in such activities.

“Emergency services are stretched, so it is key we keep 999 calls to a minimum and for those that are needed.”