Controlled burns costing Shropshire fire service £40,000 a year
Shropshire firefighters are being called to about a dozen controlled burns each month – costing the service as much as £40,000 a year.
The false alarms could be easily prevented if people registered when and where they were having these controlled fires, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has said.
It comes after crews attended four in just over 24 hours from Monday evening.
Malcolm Stevenson, spokesman for the service, said crews were on average being called to more than 12 a month – with the service having been called to 13 already in April alone.
With a single attendance costing about £280, the cost of attending controlled burns totals around £3,360 a month – or £40,320 a year.
He said: "The figures haven't significantly changed over the last year. It is something fairly consistent but the better the weather the more controlled burns there are, but of course there is an increased likelihood of them getting out of control.
"We have to respond, and we do respond to everything.
"The best advice is obviously let us know that you are intending to have a controlled burn. We need to know where it is, what it is and when you are doing it, but more importantly when it is finished.
"The way to do that is to call us and speak to us here.
"The standard cost for a crew and all the equipment to attend for an hour is £280. It is the same cost for any kind of call initially."
On Monday at 8.40pm, one crew from Wellington spent just over ten minutes after being called to a rubbish fire in Newdale, Telford.
A crew from the same station was then called to Haybridge Avenue in Hadley shortly before 12 noon on Tuesday.
At 7.30pm that night, another crew attended a blaze on the A442 in Haw Green Lane, Peplow, near Market Drayton.
A fourth call, to Admirals Close in Shifnal, was made just before 9pm the same evening.
All four were found to be controlled burns, costing the service up to £1,120.
Mr Stevenson said: "We have already received 13 this month, so I would say we are on course to make 20 at the moment.
"Clearly when you make a 999 call, fire control room will try to gleam as much as they can. That is when they make an informed decision how best to respond and what to send.
"Usually, a single appliance is sent along to this sort of thing initially."
To register a controlled burn, call the fire service control room on 01743 260200.
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