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Big blaze at Sutton Park risked becoming ‘inferno’ killing wildlife


Firefighters called to the heart of a Birmingham beauty spot found a tree ablaze and the flames spreading.

Two fire crews, a fire engine from Sutton Coldfield and the brigade response vehicle from Aston were called to woodland at the back of Blackroot Pool in Sutton Park on Sunday (April 25) afternoon.

Sutton Park rangers posted photos of flames along the trunk of a tree in Lower Nut Hurst – an area of woodland south of Blackroot Pool, which had also spread risking wildlife and other vegetation.

A spokeswoman from West Midlands Fire Service said: “At 3.20pm on Sunday (April 25) we were alerted to a report of a tree fire at Blackroot Pool in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield.

“A fire engine from Sutton Coldfield and a brigade response vehicle from Aston, along with eight firefighters attended the scene.

“Upon arrival, crews discovered a fire in a large tree that had spread to nearby grassland at the back of Blackroot Pool.

“Crews used one hose reel jet to tackle the fire and then liaised with the park ranger who chopped down the tree so the fire could be fully extinguished.”

The park’s rangers issued a stark warning after a series of fires this spring, which included a fire started by youths in woods beyond a car park near Boldmere Gate on March 21 and a birch tree torched in the park near Streetly Gate on March 30.

That same day a large group had gathered in the park and were witnessed using barbecues – an item banned in the park due to the fire risk.

And this month 100-square-feet of parkland was on fire near Boldmere Gate on April 13, requiring two fire crews to put it out.

The latest incident near Blackroot Pool, deeper in to the park, saw a tree fire spread to the grassland – with recent dry conditions increasing the risk of a fire causing widespread damage. It is the latest in a series of troubling incidents in the park this year.



A free was on fire in Lower Nut Hurst near Blackroot Pool in Sutton Park leading to two fire crews being called out to tackle it

In a post on Facebook Sutton Park rangers gave a warning.

They said: “A massive thank you to blue watch from Sutton Coldfield Fire Station who attend what could have been a far more serious fire in Lower Nut Hurst.

“Incidents such as these serve as an unfortunate reminder of just how dangerous fire can be in any natural setting and how quickly a small blaze can turn into an inferno. Heathland environments being especially vulnerable!”

The rangers continued: “A gentle reminder to all park visitors that camp fires, BBQs and any other potential source of open flame are not permitted anywhere within the park.

“Even a carelessly discarded cigarette has the potential to spark a fire with the potential to kill wildlife as well as threatening the safely of livestock and other park visitors.”





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