Wildfire calls to HampshireÂ fire serviceÂ nearly double
THE number of wildfires nearly doubled this year compared to last year.
Figures showed Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 594 fires on grassland, woodland or crops in May, June and July compared to 296 in the same period last year.
The investigation byÂ Press Association showed it was the highest figure for the past five years. Of the 594 calls earlier this year to wildfires, 223 were recorded as deliberate with 184 seen as accidental.
The NewsÂ covered dozens ofÂ fires in the open across the area including several at Browndown in Gosport and at Beachlands golf course on Hayling Island. Speaking at the time, firefighters said a number ofÂ the blazes at Browndown were deliberate.
The Fire Brigade Union warned they are under-funded, short-staffed and ill-equipped to deal with theÂ increase, adding: '˜WildfiresÂ representÂ another strain on the dwindling resources of fireÂ services currently experiencing severe budget cuts.'