EXHAUSTED firefighters have called on residents to be careful after responding to numerous calls during the recent heatwave.

Firefighters from Halstead, Braintree, Maldon and their surrounding villages were pushed to their limits during the week.

The UK experiences its hottest ever day on record last Tuesday and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) saw a deluge of calls from residents.

According to ECFRS, on Tuesday, they saw 300 calls between midnight and 4pm and respnded to more than 130 incidents.

It comes after they responded to 157 fires on Monday.

The increase in calls saw mid Essex fire crews calls out to dozens of incidents.

One of the biggest fires they were called to deal with was at an abandoned recycling centre at Convent Lane, Bocking.

Around 600 tonnes of disused clothing caught fire and smoke could be seen from as far as Halstead, Marks Tey, and Witham.

Crews also responded to countess other fires in Bocking, Stisted, Boreham and Great Sampford.

In response to the uptake in fire, Halstead Fire Station has released an appeal to residents.

The station called on locals to be considerate and wary during the heatwave.

They said: “We’ve been busy”

“We have attended a lot of calls in the past seven days.

“Monday and Tuesday this week was incredibly hot and the increase in calls we attend is increasing.

“This does not stop us responding, but we do need your help.

“Do not throw smoking material on to the ground and dispose of safely, do not have camp fires or bonfires, do not let off fireworks or release lanterns, do not leave a barbecue unattended or left on and do not leave glass laying around.

“Please also help by not parking badly blocking us access and not parking on hydrants, we need these more than ever.“