FIRE chiefs have issued a warning to thugs ahead of Bonfire Night after an “appalling” attack on firefighters in Bradford who were pelted with bricks and stones.

A crew from Fairweather Green station was targeted by a large group of youths as they put out a fire in a field off Green Lane, Lidget Green, on Monday night.

Crew commander Ahsan Ali said the youths had set fire to a large pile of rubbish on the field and then run away when they saw the firefighters approaching.

As the crew dealt with the fire, they returned and began hurling stones and bricks at them.

Police have been informed.

It was the “third or fourth” deliberate attack at the same location so far this year.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service set up a working group earlier this year to try to combat attacks on crews following several incidents around last Bonfire Night.

Bradford district commander Martin Speed, who is co-chairman of the group, has appealed to parents to warn their children against carrying out such attacks and urged schools to also spread the message about the misuse of fireworks.

He said: “The fire service has a zero tolerance approach to attacks on our crews who are dedicated public servants.

“This kind of thing is utterly appalling and it is only fortunate that no-one was injured.

“In the lead up to Bonfire Night we begin to see more attacks of this nature on our crews and our message to the perpetrators is that it is not a game and it is certainly not excusable as seasonal high jinks.

“We appeal to parents to have a strong word with their teenagers if they suspect they could be involved in this kind of recklessness.

“Schools and colleges can also help the fire service at this time of year by publicising the dangers of mishandling fireworks and the potential consequences of attacking firefighters.

“We do have cameras on our fire engines and will work with West Yorkshire Police to gather evidence and will seek to prosecute those responsible.”

David Williams, secretary of the Fire Brigades Union in West Yorkshire, said the fire service needed to do more to engage with people behind the attacks, adding that the service’s warnings might already be too late for the run-up to November 5.

He said: “I think we have missed the trick for this year.

“These type of attacks seem to be happening throughout the year and we have done very little. We have not gone into the community enough.

“We already need to have a look at what we can do for next year’s Bonfire Night season.

“We are still no wiser to why these people are doing it.

“It is about being proactive, rather than reactionary.”

Meanwhile, Bradford Council has also issued a warning not to fly-tip rubbish on bonfires this Guy Fawkes Night. 

People risk a £400 fine if caught.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sport and culture, said: "People shouldn't get the idea that the bonfire season will provide them with a chance to get rid of their rubbish on the cheap.

"Council Wardens will be looking out for fly-tipping and cracking down on culprits.”