Warm weather sparks plea over deliberately-set fires

Image caption,
Firefighters fear the warm weather will lead to an increase in secondary fires

Firefighters in the west of Scotland have warned of an increase in the number of deliberately-set fires involving bins, skips, and grassland.

Last year there were 13,255 "secondary fires" across the Strathclyde area. Almost half that number has already been recorded since 1 April.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has launched an awareness campaign, ahead of the school summer holidays.

It said the prospect of a hot summer could also add to the problem.

Secondary fires are reportable fires that do not involve property and do not involve casualties or rescues.

The new campaign was launched in North Lanarkshire, which has some of the highest levels of secondary fires, with crews from the Coatbridge station attending 657 last year.

Area commander Robert Scott highlighted what his officers were doing to tackle the issue in partnership with other local agencies.

He said: "There is a mistaken belief that deliberate fire setting is only a nuisance. This couldn't be further from the truth.

"Each deliberate fire ties up at least one appliance that may be needed at a house fire, for instance, or a serious road traffic collision.

"So far this financial year there have been five fire deaths and 91 fire casualties.

"Compare that to last year's 31 deaths and 406 casualties and it is plain to see that our fire crews are needed to tackle emergencies and carry out prevention work such as home fire safety visits."

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