AN APPEAL has been issued by a fire crew, after members battled a blaze believed to be arson.

Carlisle East Fire Station was called to reports of a fire to the rear of Warwick Road, Carlisle, at 4.30pm on Wednesday (June 9).

Upon arriving, they found 50 tonnes of straw on fire in open ground – and requested police attendance, due to suspecting the fire was set deliberately.

The blaze was extinguished using a water bowser and two main jets, and took more than two hours to tackle.

Posting details of the incident to social media, a spokesperson for the station said: "June is outdoor safety month, and with the warm weather we have been experiencing, the grass is very dry.

"Please be very careful disposing of smoking materials, and if using disposable barbecues be extremely careful, as the bottom of these get extremely hot, and can easily spread to dry grass."

And now, Carlisle East station manager, Mike Clusker, has issued a further appeal, urging everyone to remain vigilant when it comes to fire safety.

"Deliberate fires, or arson, can have two effects – direct and indirect," he said.

"They have a direct impact on the space involved, and can spread to people's homes or other nearby properties, and can cause serious damage that way.

"Indirectly, we have quite limited resources at Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, and deliberate fires tie up our resources, meaning we would be delayed in attending a life-threatening situation because we're dealing with a fire that was set maliciously."

He continued: "In life-threatening situations, every second counts, and we always want to get there as quickly as possible to ensure the best possible outcome, so when people tie up our resources, it can have have such dangerous and serious effects."

And with the warm weather looking set to continue, and more people venturing out to meet in public spaces, Mr Clusker is encouraging everybody to be mindful of how they dispose of potential fire hazards, particularly barbecues and cigarettes.

He said: "We've been called to a few reports recently of hot ashes and disposable barbecues causing fires, so we just need people to make sure they're disposing of them safely.

"Even a used cigarette can cause hedges to set on fire, and cause quite serious damage.

"We really want to get the message out there that while we want everybody to enjoy the warm weather, and enjoy seeing their friends, they also need to dispose of hot items carefully, and do what they can to prevent an avoidable fire from starting."

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: “Police were contacted by the fire service at around 5.20pm on June 9 to a report of a fire behind a property on Warwick Road, Carlisle.

“It was reported that a large amount of hay and straw was set alight.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and anyone with information can report it at, quoting incident number 153 of June 9.

"You can also contact PC 2913 on 101.”

They added that no injuries were reported during the incident.