SENIOR fire officers are urging visitors to the countryside to act responsibly, following a deliberately started blaze at a Staffordshire Moorlands beauty spot today.
Crews using beaters and backpacks tackled the blaze which engulfed grassland at the 60-acre wooded Deep Hayes Country Park near Cheddleton.
Over Bank Holiday Weekend more 360 firefighters were called out to over 50 blazes, which included back gardens, scrubland and woodland.
Most of these incidents started as a result of people not disposing of rubbish safely or having barbecues in unsafe areas.
Over 70 firefighters attend a blaze covering around 15 hectares of Cannock Chase on Friday evening.
The fire damaged a large area of Sherbrook Valley with crews from across the county tackling the fire in challenging weather conditions.
Staffordshire's Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber said: “Our crews work tirelessly to ensure that our communities are kept safe and that our rural areas are protected from the devastation caused by fire.
“This most recent Bank Holiday weekend saw our firefighters tackle some challenging incidents – some of which were not helped by people failing to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“Fire can spread very quickly and we have seen recent examples where fires have been started and spread – causing harm to local wildlife, habitats and also damaging homes and buildings – injuring people as a direct result of burning waste and rubbish.”
Picture: Damaged caused by today's blaze at Deep Hayes Country Park.