Parents have been urged to educate their children about the dangers of “playing with fire” after a large grass blaze in Sunderland.
The warning comes from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Services after crews from across Wearside were dispatched to a cornfield, off Foxcover Lane on Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters from Sunderland Central, Marley Park and Rainton Bridge fire stations attended the grass fire, which covered 24 hectares of a corn field.
The brigade said the fire took just over an hour to put out and is believed to have been started by children playing in the field.
Now it is appealing to parents to make sure their children stay safe during the school holidays, warning “it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt” in these instances.
Watch manager Andy Smith said: “This was a large-scale fire that we believe could have been prevented.
“During the summer holidays we see an increase in fires which are thought to have been started by children and young people, which cause damage and devastation to buildings and countryside.
“It is really important that parents educate their children in the dangers of playing with fire, because although it wasn’t the case in this instance, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
“We need prevention and education rather than having to deal with the consequences of a fire on this scale.”
Crews were called to the field at about 4.45pm on Wednesday, with the grass fire put out shortly before 6pm.
Echo reader James Fairweather captured these images of firefighters tackling the blaze on his camera.