Kent

Fires damage ancient woodland near Canterbury

More than 30 firefighters have spent the night tackling the second blaze in 24 hours at an area of ancient woodland near Canterbury in Kent.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called out to Thornden Wood at 20.30 BST on Saturday, where 10 hectares of woodland was alight.

Firefighters remained on the scene on Sunday to put out any hot spots.

It follows a fire at nearby Blean Woods on Saturday morning. The blazes are the latest in a series of outdoor fires.

'Spread easily'

The fire service said the number of fires in grassland, woodland and heathland since 1 April was nearly double that of last year because of continuing dry weather.

Up to 10 May it had tackled 510 fires in the county, compared with 269 in 2010.

"Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness," said spokesman Steve Griffiths.

"These fires spread very easily and put enormous demands on our resources as well as posing a serious threat to lives and homes.

"We are appealing to people to ensure that they take extra care not to start fires."

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