Firefighters have warned that someone could be killed after a series of hay fires which are thought to be started by arsonists.
Crews believe that three recent hay fires in a field off Styal Road were started deliberately.
On the evening of March 10 hay was set on fire in a livestock feeder. Crews were called back to a second fire on March 25, where at least a tonne of hay had been set alight, and again on March 27 when three large hay bales had been ignited. There were at least 10 horses in the field during this last incident.
The firefighters are extremely concerned about the associated dangers that arson attacks bring.
Not only is there a danger to the fire setters, but their actions can endanger the lives of fire crews and other road users as fire engines race to incidents on blue lights.
Wilmslow Watch Manager Kevin Grace said: “With incidents like these it is only a matter of time before someone sustains serious injury or, worse, is killed. We work very closely with the police and other partner agencies to tackle this ongoing issue of deliberate fires, and this will continue, but we also need residents to be aware and help us where they can.
“The crime of arson is extremely dangerous. Fire spreads quickly so what may seem like a small fire can easily become out of control. Not only do these fires put the lives of firefighters at risk, they also cause considerable danger to the public because responding to incidents of arson could delay firefighters in getting to a real emergency.”
As Wilmslow firefighters were tackling the hay bales on March 27 there was a car fire in the town which had to be dealt with by Poynton firefighters. That crew put out the car fire and fortunately there were no more emergency calls at the same time as fire and rescue cover would have been stretched.
Watch manager Grace said: “What arsonists don’t realise is that it could be their friends of family members who are in need of rescue in an emergency. I would encourage residents to always report any suspicious activity to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.”
Investigating officer PC Jade Bannerman from Cheshire Police said: “Arson is a serious crime which can have devastating consequences on innocent members of the public. I urge anyone with any information in relation to these incidents to contact the team here at Macclesfield on 101.”