Firefighters have hit out at petty arsonists behind a spate of callouts.

The Carlisle crews were called out three times in one night to rubbish fires in the city.

Mike Clusker, station manager for Carlisle East station, said: “We have seen a rise in nuisance rubbish fires and every time we mobilise for one of these, it takes us away from attending a life-threatening incident.

“By doing this, our next closest resource could take about 15 minutes to get to an incident.

“We are and will continue to work with the police and the council to tackle these and we would urge the public to be vigilant and call the police if they have any information.”

The first callout on Thursday came during the weekly 8pm clap for carers event.

The Carlisle east fire crew was standing outside, with lights and sirens going, to recognise the frontline NHS staff when the call came in.

On arrival they discovered a rubbish fire near Close Street, St Aidans.

Mr Clusker said: “Thanks to all the residents of London Road who were clapping us as we drove past.

"I think it is important we [join in] and show our support for everyone, the NHS, the emergency services, teachers, shop workers and the many others who are working to help everyone.

“As public servants, we go out to show our appreciation for the people who are making the sacrifices and we try to be good role models.

“The clapping and cheering is not just for emergency services; it is for everyone who is working to support the community.”

During the same night, Carlisle West fire station was also called to another two rubbish fires around the city, and have also had to respond to controlled burnings that have got out of hand.

People are urged to be careful when having bonfires at home.