FIRE chiefs are warning arsonists they are putting lives at risk after two major grass fires broke out in Wirral yesterday.

The two, one in Moreton and one in Bidston Hill, are both believed to have been started deliberately.

The first started shortly before 4pm yesterday, Tuesday, on grasslands close to Leasowe Lighthouse.

Firefighters battled the blaze on land off Pasture Road for more than two-and-a-half hours.

Around 50sq mtrs of scrubland, largely populated by wildlife, was destroyed.

Crews had put out the flames by 6.35pm but by that point, another fire had been started deliberately on Bidston Hill.

Crews from four fire engines battled for another two hours to extinguish the blaze, which started shortly before 6pm.

There were four separate fires across 500sq mtrs of gorse and scrubland.

Watch manager Andy Blythe from Birkenhead fire station warned that fires started deliberately could put lives at risk.

He said: "While the fire itself is damaging to the environment, four appliances also had to attend this incident.

"Attending deliberate fires means that those appliances are not available to respond to other emergencies in the area."

There are simple steps people can take to reduce the chance of a grass fire.

People should ensure cigarettes are extinguished properly and should not throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of vehicle windows.

Rubbish should be taken home and not left behind, specially glass bottles as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire. They can also injure people and animals.

Open fires should not be lit in parks and open spaces and should only be lit in safe designated areas.

Anyone who spots a grass fire is asked to report it immediately to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service.

Early detection can prevent it from developing into a larger incident.