Stark warning issued by fire service about the dangers of deliberate grass fires
Fire fighters in the South Wales Valleys have warned that people’s lives and properties are being put at risk by deliberate grass fires.
Over 95% of grass fires in the area are intentionally set and there are fears that a culture of “acceptance” is contributing to the problem.
“We’ve had it described to us in the past as risk-free fun by some young people”, says Huw Jakeway at the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
In 2015, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service crews attended 1,781 grass fire incidents at an estimated cost of nearly £5.5 million. But the fire service says the cost to communities can be even greater.
The basic geography of the valleys also means that fires are often lit very close to people’s homes.
Roger Rudge has a small holding in Abersychan near Newport, and says there have been grass fires in the area for as long as he can remember. Roger’s land backs on to the hillside, and he’s scared the fires will one day come too close.