Fife hit by spate of deliberate fires

Grass and woodland fires can have a devastating impact
Grass and woodland fires can have a devastating impact

Fife has been hit by a spate of fires started deliberately over the Easter weekend.

Since the end of last week, crews across the Kingdom have been called to the Levenmouth, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Lochgelly areas to grass and gorse fires as well as rubbish and bins on fire.

And as we move into the warmer spring months, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing to the public to do what they can to prevent fire.

During the months of March and April SFRS traditionally see an increase in the amount of deliberate fires across Scotland compared to the rest of the year.

These fires present a danger to life, property and can have a detrimental financial impact on the Scottish economy.

Group Manager Alex Smart, prevention and protection manager in Fife, said: “Over the next few months we’ll typically see an increase in the amount of deliberate fires.

Fire setting is an offence – don’t accept it, report it.

Alex Smart, prevention and protection manager in Fife

“SFRS is appealing in particular to young people on school holidays to consider the consequences of deliberately setting a fire.

“We would urge parents to ensure that their children know about and understand the potentially tragic consequences deliberate fires can have, as well as the impact for responding emergency services. Fire setting is an offence – don’t accept it, report it.

“We ask local residents and businesses to ensure that rubbish does not accumulate outside their property and that wheelie bins are stored in a safe and secure area until collection.

“Bin and rubbish fires can quickly take hold and spread to buildings and vehicles, posing a major risk to life and property.

“As we enter the time of year where we typically see warmer weather we would also expect to see an increase in the amount of woodland, grass and forest fires.

“Our crews work hard to provide education and advice about the risks and also respond when fires do break out. The public can help them to keep people safe by heeding our safety advice and sharing it with others.

“We’ll be working hand in hand with rural communities, businesses and landowners to establish ‘Fire Plans’ that will focus on reducing the risk of fire and provide advice on what to do if an emergency does occur.”

Information is available online at Fire Scotland and residents wanting further advice in relation to keeping their home safe from fire can contact SFRS for a FREE home safety visit on 0800 0731 999, or text ‘FIRE’ to 80800.

You can also contact Fife Council Environmental Services on 03451 550011 for more information on issues involving accumulations of rubbish.