Park Rangers and volunteers to begin task of restoring fire hit cemetery

Released: Thursday, 18 August 2022

The Park Rangers team from Worthing Borough Council along with volunteers are about to head to Broadwater Cemetery for a clean up after the recent grass fire.

The Friends of Broadwater Cemetery will join in to tidy up and rake over the burnt area. Rangers are confident that the grass and other foliage will return but in the meantime remedial measures will be taken.

The fire which spread to the size of almost two football pitches is believed to have been started when parched grass was ignited through a discarded piece of glass. The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have said it was one of fifteen such fires attended that day in the Worthing area and that glass was the most likely cause. The Council has urged everyone to be more vigilant in disposing of litter especially during hot periods.

Cllr Vicki Wells, Worthing Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

"Firstly I want to express my sympathies to the families of loved ones who are buried in the cemetery and whose graves were affected by the fire. We will do all we can to restore the graves to their former condition.

"Secondly I have asked our Park Rangers to begin the process of tidying up the area and raking the burnt land so that growth can return. I would also like to thank the Friends of Broadwater Cemetery who will be joining them and already do such sterling work with this beautiful and peaceful spot."

She added that she was grateful for the prompt actions of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service which prevented further damage.

Park rangers are confident that green growth will return, especially now the searing heat has subsided.

In the meantime the Council will be investigating whether, in future heat waves, more preventative checks on discarded materials can be made in areas at risk of fire and remind people to either take littler home or use the bins.

Photo: Fire Crew at Broadwater Cemetery in Worthing

PR22-153 - Fire Crew at Broadwater Cemetery

(PR22-153)

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Page last updated: 05 October 2022

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