FIREFIGHTERS had a busy weekend after being called out to a series of grass and wheelie bin fires.
Crews put out numerous grass blazes at Summerhill Country Park, in Hartlepool, on Friday night after being called out several times during the day.
The call-outs followed a spate of fires, believed to have been started by youths, including around a dozen incidents over the Easter weekend.
Meanwhile, three wheelie bin fires at shopping parades on Sunday morning are being investigated.
Crews from Stranton Fire Station were called out twice to Wynyard Road and once to the Fens shops between midnight and 3am.
The blazes spread causing external damage to businesses including a Tesco Express store.
Cleveland Fire Service have issued advice to businesses to help protect against rubbish fires as part of their Enough is Enough campaign.
Tips include bringing any refuse containers inside buildings at the end of the day where possible.
Another is to keep wheelie bins at least 18 feet away from buildings to stop any fire spreading to them.
Make sure that refuse containers don’t overflow, and if it happens regularly, change your container for a larger one or buy an extra one, say fire chiefs.
In East Durham crews from Peterlee Fire Station dealt with a large fire on waste ground at Holm Hill Gardens, in Easington Colliery, at 11am on Saturday.
It was initially feared to be a large fire in a garden at risk of spreading to a building.
But on arrival it was found to be grass and bushes on fire on waste land.
Although arson in Cleveland fell by 30 per cent, it still accounts for 71 per cent of fires across the area, costing taxpayers £42 million over the last three years.
Anyone with information about suspected arsonists should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously, or call the police on 101.