FIREFIGHTERS have tackled nearly 40 arson attacks in just seven weeks, it has been revealed.

The summer months have seen Flintshire hit by a wave of 39 deliberate fires between July and August with vandals targeting a garden shed, rubbish bins and even businesses.

Fire chiefs say the attacks are putting lives at risk.

A hero pensioner battled 12 ft-high flames with a garden hose to stop an oil tank catching fire after vandals torched a garden shed on Tan yr Allt, Cefnybedd, on August 14.

Had the fire spread the oil could have exploded causing devastation to the street.

The summer months traditionally see an increase in arson attacks.

Andy Robb, county partnership manager for Flintshire, said: “Deliberate firestarting ties up resources that could be saving lives elsewhere, and puts the lives of both the public and firefighters at risk.

“When crews are called to attend life critical incidents such as house fires and road traffic collisions, appliances are not diverted from this type of deliberate fire, the next available fire appliance is sent.

“This may involve a time delay which could prove fatal.

“Arson is a serious crime and in conjunction with North Wales Police we will pursue prosecutions.

“I am appealing to all members of the community to report the perpetrators of deliberate fires.

“Deliberate firestarters should also think hard about the consequences of their actions, and realise that this type of behaviour is simply unacceptable and puts lives at risk.”

Anyone with information on such crimes is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101 (if in Wales), call 0845 6071001 (Welsh) 0845 6071002 (English) or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”