CREWS from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have dealt with more than 500 deliberately-set grass fires across South Wales in the last two months.

However, this is down on the same period last year by more than 20 per cent.

In the last eight weeks the service have attended 507 deliberate grass fires - for the same period for the previous year the number attended was 648. This is a drop of 22 per cent.

These fires have spread to destroy many hectares of grassland, affecting wildlife and ecosystems.

They also cause a strain on emergency resources and require the use of many forms of critical equipment.

"As well as causing damage to property and the environment, the swathes of thick smoke from these fires also put our firefighters lives in danger," said a spokesperson.

"They can increase the risk to vulnerable people with medical conditions.

"Healthcare professionals have recently highlighted the dangers of smoke caused by wildfires to COVID-19 sufferers."


The Service's Fire Crime Unit have been working in hot-spot areas carrying out prevention activities including cutting firebreaks into vegetation to stop fires spreading.

Alongside Natural Resources Wales, firefighters have been cutting these breaks on paths and tracks which surround forestry and around residential and commercial properties.

A recent example of this was on Rudry Common in Caerphilly last week.

A deliberately set wildfire burned across ten hectares of mountainside but slowed down upon reaching a firebreak. This allowed firefighters to extinguish the fire quickly.

"Sadly, many of the fires are started deliberately and are drawing valuable resources away from our communities, placing an unnecessary risk on lives," said a spokesperson.

"We would urge anyone who has information on suspected deliberate fires, or who sees anything suspicious to contact 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"If you see a fire, or anyone starting a fire, please call 999 immediately."