Fear over Flintshire firebug frenzy

Reporter:

Helen Davies

LIVES are being put at risk in a spate of arson fires across Flintshire.

Firefighters have battled a dozen blazes in just the last week which were believed to have been started deliberately.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is warning arsonists they are putting lives at risk and have vowed to prosecute anyone caught starting fires.

Between March 25 and April 1, firefighters were called to deliberate fires over five days, including four just on Tuesday.

Incidents included 50 square metres of grass blazing in Shotton on Thursday, rubbish on fire on Dee View Road in Connah’s Quay on Tuesday and five to ten square metres of gorse and grass on fire on Castle Park in Flint on Sunday.

The largest deliberate fire over the week was a 100 square metre blaze of gorse and bracken on Wern Road in Rhosesmor on Thursday evening.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s a waste of resources, while firefighters are tackling these fires it means they may be delayed getting to a serious incident. It’s putting the lives of firefighters at risk.

“It’s very irresponsible. At this time of year we do notice an increase. It’s getting lighter in the evenings, young people are out on the streets at a loose end but these fires can spread easily and get out of control.”

Connah’s Quay councillor Grenville James, a member of the executive panel for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, is urging anyone who sees a fire being started deliberately to report it.

He said: “When there’s a call out to something started deliberately it’s costing us money and if these people are caught they will be prosecuted. These fires can lead to injury or death, while firefighters are dealing with these minor fires started deliberately they may not be able to attend serious incidents.”

Fellow Connah’s Quay councillor and member of the executive panel, Brian Dunn, said people needed to understand how fast fires could spread.

He said: “People should be aware if they start these fires they could cause major incidents. They could put lives at risk.”

To report arson call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

See full story in the Leader

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