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Four fire-engines called to blaze on Dartford Heath
FOUR fire engines were called to deal with the latest blaze on Dartford Heath yesterday afternoon (May 22).
Crews were scrambled to the heath at 4:15pm.
A fire-fogging unit - designed to specifically deal with woodland and grassland fires - was used to extinguish the flames.
The fire comes as Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) confirm they were called to Dartford Heath on 69 occasions between May 2011 and April 2012.
They estimate 75 per cent of these fires were started deliberately.
Dartford crew manager Bob Chilmaid said: “Countryside fires are dangerous because they are unpredictable.
“They spread through undergrowth very quickly and change direction without warning and put lives at risk, threatening wildlife and devastating areas of beauty.
“Arson also puts our firefighters in unnecessary danger and ties up resources that could be needed for a real emergency - a crashed car or someone trapped in a house fire.”
KFRS says “substantial progress” has been made in reducing the number of fires on Dartford heath, with a reduction of 20 per cent compared to the year ending September 2011.
In a bid to continue driving down the fires, firefighters will work closely alongside heath rangers during the summer.