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Police fear 'someone could be killed' amid repeated arson attacks in Sheffield suburb

Some of the fire damage.
Some of the fire damage.

Police fear someone could be killed if repeated arson attacks continue on open land in a Sheffield suburb.

There has been a number of grass fires across the Fox Hill, Shiregreen and Longley areas in the last several days as the city continues to bask in this summer's heatwave.

The scorched field.

The scorched field.

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South Yorkshire Police said they have evidence to suggest that these have been started deliberately by youngsters and the force today issued a warning about the potential deadly dangers of setting fires on open land.

The warning comes after two huge fires on the moors near Sheffield and Manchester led to people being evacuated from dozens of homes in recent weeks.

The Sheffield North East Neighbourhood Policing Team posted pictures to Facebook this evening showing scorched fields near Fox Hill.

They also issued the following public safety message: "These fires are causing devastation and it is only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured or even killed. Most concerning, we have info that these grass fires are being caused by local children.

"This must be addressed and everybody can do their bit in the community. Teachers, neighbours, shop owners, but most importantly parents or carers have a role to play and can make a stand against this recurring problem.

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"The public are our eyes and ears and we need their support and vigilance to prevent grass fires and any subsequent damage, but also to ensure those responsible are identified.

"Please check your children's clothes for smelling of smoke, marked skin, and be conscious of any missing lighters, matches or accelerants that are possible signs. Young people are risking spoiling their prospects forever, through one act of stupidity.

"Please share this with family and friends whose children are potentially out in these areas on an evening."

This comes after a major incident was declared last week as high winds caused two separate blazes to merge into one across Winter Hill in Bolton, while the fight against the fire on Saddleworth Moor, 30 miles away, entered a second week.

The raging fire has caused people to be evacuated from a number of homes and helicopters have been drafted in to drop water on the flames.

Appliances from South Yorkshire have been drafted in to help fight the flames and it was revealed arsonists are thought to have started the fires.

The warning also follows a similar appeal by the South Yorkshire brigade a few weeks ago.

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The service urged people to not use open fires in the countryside, to make sure barbecues are only used in a suitable location and are extinguished properly and to ensure smokers extinguish cigarettes completely and to not throw the ends onto the ground.

Residents are also asked to not leave bottles or glass in woodland encase a sun beam catches it and starts a fire.