Woodlands set ablaze deliberately

Four people were treated in hospital.  Picture; stock image

Four people were treated in hospital. Picture; stock image

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Fire chiefs have issued a warning following “a number” of deliberate blazes in local woodlands.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing for information in relation to a spate deliberate fires in the Kinneil woods and Polmont woods area.

Firefighters in Bo’ness and Falkirk have attended several fire-raising incidents in the area after trees were set alight.

SFRS say deliberate fires are a danger to life and property and can have a detrimental financial impact on the local economy.

Group Manager Eddie Ritchie said: “We unfortunately see an increase in the number of deliberate fires during the summer.

“In the run-up to the summer holidays our personnel work around the clock – not just fighting fires, but visiting schools and youth groups to engage with young people.

“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.

SFRS work together with partner agencies Police Scotland, Falkirk Council’s Community Safety Team and Crimestoppers Scotland to prevent fires and support Police Scotland in highlighting the need to report fire offending.

Mr Ritchie added: “We shall continue to work with our Police Scotland colleagues to ensure each incident is fully investigated. Fire setting is an offence – don’t accept it, report it.

“Those who start these fires deliberately are not only wasting time and resources, they must remember it could be someone they know who may be in serious danger elsewhere, but firefighters have been delayed due to their actions.

“Whether the reason for starting fires deliberately is boredom, bravado or wanting to see the fire engine go past with its lights on, it doesn’t matter, their actions could ultimately put lives in danger.”

Anyone with information on deliberate fires is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.