YOUNGSTERS have sparked several more fires across East Lancashire — just as firefighters spoke out on the issue.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported yesterday a rise in the number of small blazes since schools broke up for the Easter holidays.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue said there was a risk of ‘something horrible happening’, also warning firefighters could be tied up in the wrong place when a serious incident breaks out.

Crews from Blackburn fire station were left frustrated after being called out to Peel Close three times on Sunday evening, each time for a grass fire thought to have been set by children.

Firefighters were also sent out to similar incidents at Pendle View Primary School, Moseley Road in Burnley and Ashton Drive, Walverden Park and Barrowford locks in Nelson. Paul Guinan, Blackburn crew manager, said handing out punishments to the youngsters was not the answer.

He said: “They are putting lives at risk, especially if they are using accelerants to get the fire going, and they are also in danger of hurting themselves.

“We’ve got to try and educate them and talk to them about why this is wrong.

“We always try and talk to them — it’s not about shouting. It’s about giving them the information that might help them realise this isn’t the right thing to do.

“We do see peaks of kids getting into mischief every now and then, especially in the holidays.

“We obviously have to deal with these fires but there could be something more serious going on in the town.”

Firefighters said the weather and time of year could also have been a factor in the fires, as the grass sets alight more easily when dry.

There was another incident yesterday afternoon in Accrington, suspected to have been started by children playing with matches.

The blaze onland off Charter Street was put out uat 1pm. Crew manager Rob Birtwistle advised parents to know where their children were and what they were doing. He said: “Make sure your children don’t play with matches because it can have terrible consequences.”