SO THE first day of the school holidays, which was enjoyed by so many thanks to the lovely weather, was marred in Newport by the deliberate starting of a grass fire.

The fire in Barracks Wood destroyed trees and bracken over a stretch of land the size of five football pitches.

What an absolute waste.

More to the point, it kept fire-fighters occupied for over an hour, a waste of their precious time.

Had there been another major emergency in the city yesterday lunchtime we do wonder how the service would have coped.

No doubt staff and engines would have been diverted from other areas. But it isn’t difficult to see the knock-on effect this could have.

South Wales Fire And Rescue Service works hard through term time to try to get to as many schools as possible to educate children about the dangers of starting such fires.

It is obvious, though, that for some the message does just not get through.

And what those starting the fires don’t seem to realise either is that they actually put themselves at risk at the same time.

There must be some responsibility taken by parents who should know where their children are and also to warn them of the dangers and risks. Only last month we reported there had been 77 wildfires in Gwent in under three weeks.

That is not a situation which can go on.