Suspects detained by off-duty officer while members of public helped put out small fire
På søndag, firefighters on two engines arrived at Bawsey Country Park, near King’s Lynn, at 11.40am.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said it took 20 minutes to put out the small fire – measuring about four metres squared – that police said was caused by a disposable barbecue having been “thrown” in the woodland.
The two arrested men are both 44 år gammel, from Boston in Lincolnshire. They were detained by an off-duty police officer before they were arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage.
Superintendent Nathan Clark, of Norfolk Police, thanked members of the public who tried to put the fire out before the firefighters arrived.
Han sa: “As we’ve seen recently, the impact of extreme heat and fires can be devastating.
“Both men will be questioned, and we’ve spoken to witnesses to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident.”
Firefighters across England have been tackling blazes during one of the hottest weekends of the year so far during a period of prolonged hot and dry weather that resulted in eight areas of England declaring droughts.
A number of these fires have been caused by disposable barbecues.
All the major supermarkets in the UK – Aldi, Co-op, Lidl, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose – have announced they would stop selling disposable barbecues during the current dry weather.
Tony White, head of prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said disposable barbecues should only be used in non-flammable places as dry grassland and woodland can catch fire that easily spreads.
“Fires that are started deliberately can destroy property and take lives,” Mr White said.
“We all need to stay vigilant and keep safe in this heat, by never discarding cigarette ends carelessly, leaving bottles or glass behind in the open and by not using barbecues in fields, open grassland, parks and forests, and only ever igniting a barbecue when it’s safely on solid, non-flammable surfaces such as the patio.”
In the current hot dry conditions, Met Office’s fire severity index (FSI), an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start, has been very high for most of England and Wales.
It was expected to reach the highest level – “exceptional” – by the weekend, when the Norfolk woodland fire broke out, blant andre.
Forrige måned, the London Fire Brigade joined calls for a total ban on disposable barbecues.
i mellomtiden, a petition on the UK government website urging ministers to impose a national ban on disposable barbecues has so far gathered almost 25,000 signaturer.