'˜Selfish and stupid' vandals blamed for numerous fires at beauty spot

Vandals have been blamed for repeated fires at a beauty spot that put lives at risk and scorched areas of land the size of two football pitches.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 2:08 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 3:11 pm
Frickley Country Park

South Kirkby councillor Jon Treacy said there had been numerous fires at Frickley Country Park during the summer heatwave and said the blame lay with groups of youths.

He said: “The actions of these kids has been incredibly selfish and stupid.

“They are putting themselves and others at risk. Someone could have died.

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“Do parents in this area know where their kids are on a night?

“How would they feel knowing they are out doing silly like this. They need to get a grip of them.

“We just want to put a stop to it. It’s a lovely park and this is mindless and dangerous vandalism.

“And it was dangerous and damaging for local wildlife – just a really stupid and cruel thing to do.”

Coun Treacy said homes located within 15 metres of the country park could have been put at risk by the fire.

Earlier this month crew manager Neil Hawkins from South Kirkby fire station said his team had to deal with three or four deliberately-started field fires a day, often around Upton Primary School and the old pit site at Havercroft, which meant they were not free to deal with real emergencies.

He said: “It’s causing us havoc. When we put out those fires out we can’t be helping people who need it.

“I know kids play mischievously but they don’t understand it is tying us up.”

In a separate incident, 11 fire crews tackled at huge blaze at Kingsley Green Farm in Ackworth earlier this month.

The fire destroyed 100 acres of crops and was described by firefighters as “like an apocalypse”.