Small fires could lead to a massive tragedy

Bellshill councillor Harry McGuigan with firefighters who have been no stranger to Orbiston Bing of late.
Bellshill councillor Harry McGuigan with firefighters who have been no stranger to Orbiston Bing of late.

Firefighters in Bellshill say the number of grass fires they are having to attend is getting out of hand, and fear one will eventually lead to tragedy.

Station Commander Thomas Sinton said: “When the better weather comes you know kids are going to start lighting fires, it happens every year going back generations.

“However the sheer volume is really becoming a worry as we have been called out to 150 this month, 80 alone at Orbiston Bing.

“Every call out costs over £2,000 to the public purse, which is money that could better spend elsewhere, but not only that, what happens the next time there is a major house fire, or a road accident or a chemical spill?

“It could be we are not about because our guys are up the Bing hunting for a grass fire that needs beaten out.

“We have a new dynamic system that sends the nearest available appliance, but even so could be talking an extra 5-10 minutes and that could be all the time that is required for a tragedy to occur.”

Bellshill councillor Harry McGuigan says the Bing has just become a nuisance.

He said: “The Bing hasn’t been a useful feature of Bellshill for many, many years since the closure of the Orbiston pit.

“There is a football field up there, but no one is willing use it, as the drinking and other activities make it too dangerous for people.

“I really hope one day we can be rid of it!”