FIREFIGHTERS on Merseyside dealt with less deliberately started fires than last Bonfire Night, according to figures released by the service.
The drop was significant - 40%, say chiefs, with the largest decrease seen in the Sefton area.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service revealed that crews also attended 17% fewer bonfire-related incidents on Tuesday, November 5 than the year before.
They attended 35 deliberately set anti-social behaviour fires, including bonfires, wheelie bin and rubbish fires between midnight and 23.59pm – down from 58 on November 5, 2018.
Liverpool saw the highest number of deliberately set fires, with fire crews attending 21 deliberate fires, although this was down from 26 in 2018.
In Sefton the figure dropped from from 14 deliberately set fires in 2018 to just two in 2019.
Throughout the whole bonfire period from October 19 to November 5, firefighters attended 207 deliberately-set fires, down 37.1% from last year when they attended 329. Crews also attended seven incidents related to fireworks – up from four last year. In total, fire control received 279 emergency 999 calls on November 5, down from 2018’s figure of 417.
Station manager Lauren Woodward said: “We received a large volume of calls, with our Control staff doing a fantastic job of handling them. Our Arson Team also spent the night in the community ensuring that members of the public were kept as safe as possible.
“On November 5, we take a tolerant view of bonfires - if they are in the open, supervised by adults and under control we do not extinguish them. Those we attended and put out - included in our statistics - were all considered to be dangerous.
“The bonfire period is always extremely busy for us as a service, with extensive advance planning and partnership work with Merseyside Police, local authorities, registered housing providers and other community partners.
“In recent weeks, firefighters and the prevention team have been out in communities clearing away hazardous rubbish and fly-tipping, which could have been used as fuel for fires, and promoting the safe storage of wheelie bins to help prevent them becoming targets for arson.
“We are thankful to our communities for taking on board our safety messages and advice.”