IT IS quite incredible that in the space of just 18 days in March there were 77 grass and mountain fires in this area.

And what is so worrying is the fact that just over 97 per cent of them were started deliberately.

That means 75 call-outs for our already stretched fire service as a result of the actions of mindless yobs.

It also means acres of grassland and wildlife habitats being destroyed and of course a huge financial cost for the fire service, money which could be better spent.

With the average cost of attending a fire being £1,970, it means that in March alone South Wales Fire and Rescue service has spent £147,750 on attending grass fires.

T he fact that these fires are unpredictable and therefore incredibly dangerous is what gives the greatest cause for concern.

Put quite simply the arsonists who start these fires are putting lives at risk.

Further when when fire staff are tackling deliberately started grass fires, they cannot be tackling incidents in our towns across South Wales, with the obvious consequences that can have.

Maybe it will take a few of these arsonists to get caught and put before a court to really get the message out that this is unacceptable behaviour.

Perhaps when they are jailed or fined up to £5,000 they might realise that their dangerous and stupid actions have serious and very real consequences.