Welwyn Garden City services join forces to tackle burning issue

POLICE and fire services have combined forces in an attempt to tackle an epidemic of woodland blazes that could potentially put lives at risk.

WGC fire station were called to Sherrardspark Woods, WGC, on five consecutive days at the end of May to tackle camp fires which are taking away vital resources needed in real emergencies.

These incidents follow several deliberate fires near Oakdale and Summer Dale, as reported in the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ May 26 edition.

Sherrards Pcso Nish Chelvachandran is now working with fire crews and wood wardens in an attempt to track down the culprits.

Nish said: “These fires are reckless and dangerous, they cause lots of damage to the woodland and take fire resources away from real emergencies.

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“We need to know who is responsible so we can speak to them and tell them about the consequences of their actions.

“If anyone is caught or identified as the culprits, they will be arrested.”

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Les Jones, WGC station commander, said: “Arson is extremely dangerous. It puts lives and property at risk and costs the county around �17 million a year.

“While our crews are dealing with arson incidents they are diverted away from other emergencies and community safety work.

“Our message is simple – we will not tolerate arson in Hertfordshire and we will continue to work with our partners to stamp it out.”

The fires will become one of the three neighbourhood priorities for Handside and Sherrards wards as residents have said it is of most concern to them.

Contact police on 0845 33 00 222 if you have information about the deliberate fires, and if you see a crime in progress, dial 999.

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