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of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 17:59 GMT
Bonfire crews tackle fewer fires

Most people took a "safe and sensible" approach to Bonfire Night in Tyneside and Sunderland, fire crews have said.

Tyne and Wear Fire Service received about 1,000 emergency calls on Monday night - 200 less than 2006.

About 400 illegal bonfires were reported to the non-emergency line between Friday and Monday, along with 98 misuse of fireworks calls.

In County Durham and Darlington, 80 illegal bonfires were put out compared to 104 on 5 November last year.

A spokesman for the Tyne and Wear service said an intensive public campaign had helped raise awareness of the dangers of fires and fireworks.

Graphic television

Chief Fire Officer Richard Bull said: "We are pleased that this year's bonfire period passed off with very little incident and that most people seemed to adopt a safe and sensible approach to celebrations.

"Thanks to our successful partnership, we feel confident that the majority of people listened and adhered to our 'Fireworks and bonfires ruin lives in a flash' campaign messages."

The campaign encouraged people to dial 101 to report non-emergency incidents, and to attend organised firework displays instead of building their own bonfires.

It also included a graphic television advert depicting a charred and burning head, which was deemed too shocking to be screened before 1930 GMT.