MORE than 60 deliberate fires have sparked warnings from firefighters and police.

Fire crews have attended several deliberate blazes across the county in recent weeks and West Sussex County Council said they could have had “devastating consequences”.

A spokeswoman said the county has a “very high risk” of wildfires.

Over the past month, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has attended more than 60 fires that were started deliberately. It said they were “a huge risk when coupled with the extremely dry conditions”.

On Wednesday, firefighters from Bognor and Haywards Heath dealt with two deliberate fires in one night.

The Argus: Fire in Ashenground Road, Haywards Heath Fire in Ashenground Road, Haywards Heath

At 9.55pm, fire crews from Haywards Heath were sent to Ashenground Road after receiving reports of flames in a woodland area.

Crews battled the blaze for an hour and half before bringing it under control.

Less than ten minutes later, fire control received a call to Longbrook Park in Bognor and two fire engines were sent to the scene.

Firefighters found a playground ablaze. It ended up being destroyed by the fire.

Both incidents are believed to have been started deliberately and Sussex Police have been informed.

Matt Gamblen, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s wildfire tactical adviser, said: “Despite temperatures declining since the heatwave, the ground is still extremely dry, and we strongly advise that people refrain from starting fires outdoors.

“It doesn’t take much for these fires to spread to nearby undergrowth, or even worse, buildings and properties.

“The Met Office’s Fire Severity Index shows that this weekend West Sussex will be at a ‘very high’ risk of severe fires. This means that should a fire break out, it will likely spread very fast.

“Starting a fire deliberately is incredibly irresponsible and wastes both your time and our time. More importantly, it could prevent us from quickly attending an emergency incident where we are needed most, perhaps involving your loved ones.”

An Eastbourne Police spokesman said: “Your help is needed to tackle arson.”

“During the month of July, we have seen an increase in deliberate fire starting (arson), with individuals deliberately targeting public play parks."