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.

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

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