South Wales grass fires 'up 195%' on last year

A view of grass fires on the mountain at Clydach Vale earlier this month. Credit: ITV Wales News / Rob Osborne

The total number of grass fires dealt with by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are up by nearly 200% on last year, new figures show.

The figures also indicate that the number of grass fires started deliberately have risen from 309 to 874 compared to April last year - an increase of 183%.

The Rhondda Cynon Taf area saw the most number deliberate grass fires, with 322 being tackled by fire crews from the 1st of April until the 28th.

Number of deliberate grass fires in south Wales this month:

  • Blaenau Gwent: 93 (deliberate grass fires between 1st-28th April 2015)

  • Bridgend: 87

  • Caerphilly: 145

  • Cardiff: 41

  • Merthyr: 69

  • Monmouthshire: 4

  • Newport: 63

  • RCT: 322

  • Torfaen: 31

  • Vale of Glamorgan: 19

  • GRAND TOTAL: 874

Throughout this month both South Wales Fire and Rescue and Mid and West Fire services have dealt with significant grass fire problems.

Last week fire crews tackled a 250-300 hectare grass fire in Wattsville near Blackwood and on Monday there were dramatic images of fires threatening properties in Carmarthenshire.

Some of the grass fires were close to reaching people's homes in Burry Port. Credit: Marc Tierney

Earlier today Crimestoppers announced they were offering a reward up of to £5,000for information on a series of deliberate grass fires across the south Wales area.

A series of arrests have also been made in connection with the deliberate starting of grass fires.