Three teenage boys have been arrested after a devastating bushfire at Parkgate.
Emergency services rushed to the wetland in Parkgate, near Neston, Wirral, on Saturday shortly before 6:30 p.m. as thick black smoke was sent through the area. Crowds gathered on The Parade in Parkgate, an area popular with walkers and tourists, to watch the fire as it raged into the evening.
At the height of the fire, which covered 500 square meters of wetland, six firefighters from Cheshire and Merseyside were on the scene. A police helicopter was dispatched to check in which direction the fire was spreading as winds pushed the flames further. Firefighters used fire breaks to protect nearby residents’ homes.
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Just hours after the fire started, Cheshire police said they considered the incident arson. Now officers have confirmed that three teens have been arrested on suspicion of arson.
Three boys, two aged 13 and one aged 14, are in police custody and are being questioned by officers.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service alerted police to the fire which is believed to have been started deliberately. The fire was largely extinguished by 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, but the fire service remained on site until the early hours of Sunday. People were asked to stay away.
People in the area were shocked and saddened to see the blaze on the wetland, which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Jane Woodhead, who lives nearby, told ECHO: “I feel really sad, it’s a big part of our community. It’s scary too. There are a lot of rare animals living in the wetlands, it is really worrying the impact it can have on them.”
Ms Cartwright, who has lived in the area for 35 years, said it is the second fire she has seen on the wetland during that time. She said, “The sad thing about it is that there are creatures in it. You feel heavy in your heart.”