Warning following spate of wildfires

Over the past couple of weeks, firefighters across the region have worked to protect the public at a number of deliberate wildfires
Over the past couple of weeks, firefighters across the region have worked to protect the public at a number of deliberate wildfires

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is warning the public about the dangers of deliberate fire setting following a recent spate of grass and wild land fires in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The call comes during the Easter holidays, a period which historically sees a rise in the number of wildfires and deliberate fire-raising.

Over the past couple of weeks, firefighters across the region have worked to protect the public at a number of deliberate wildfires.

These fires can endanger life, devastate property, affect local businesses and can have an impact on the local environment.

SFRS works together with partner agencies such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Crimestoppers Scotland to prevent these fires arising in the first place.

Firefighters also continue to support the police in highlighting the need to report fire offending behaviour.

Group Manager Gordon Riddel, who manages Prevention and Protection for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire & Moray, said: “We want the public to enjoy the Easter break – but to do so safely.

“The SFRS is appealing in particular to young people during 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.”

He added: “We have attended a number of incidents recently whereby fires have been started deliberately and we would urge everyone about the very real dangers of becoming trapped within wildland fires.

“Sudden changes in wind direction can have an immediate effect on how a wildland fire reacts and such incidents can be extremely unpredictable. Furthermore, they can be hazardous to firefighters who respond to these fires.

“We will continue to work with our Police Scotland colleagues to ensure each incident is fully investigated, as much intelligence is gathered - and that perpetrators are ultimately caught.”