Three teenagers have been summonsed to court to face charges of arson and damaging a site of special scientific interest without notice.
The three boys, one aged 14 and two aged 15 will appear at West Cheshire Youth Court on 5 April. They cannot be named for legal reasons.
The case relates to a fire on marshland in Parkgate near Neston on 19 March 2022.
At the height of the fire, a spokesperson for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said, “Firefighters are tackling a blaze involving around 500 square metres of marshland [later much larger]. Four fire engines from Cheshire and two from Merseyside are at the scene.“Crews are using beaters and hose reel jets to fight the fire.
“There are two areas of fire spreading around the marshland.
“Fire breaks have been put in place to protect nearby properties. Two main jets and hose reels are in use.
“Police have been advised as it is suspected that the fire has been started deliberately. A fire investigator will also attend.
“One fire engine from Powey Lane, one from Ellesmere Port, two from Chester and two from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are in attendance.”
One early eyewitness, Peter Guy, said as events unfolded, “Looks like the marshes are on fire – it’s absolutely huge and is getting bigger.
“Caught fire so quickly and is spreading right up Parkgate parade.”
As the fire developed, he continued, “Vast fire at Parkgate now about 500m and growing. Lots of wildlife being destroyed. Quite unbelievable how quickly it has spread. Emergency services just arriving.”
As dusk turned to nighttime, the sky could be seen “burning orange.”
Image with thanks to AndyParry on Twitter