Fires in Maesteg spark plea from police to 'take responsibility for your children'

Grass fires have previously caused vast damage to land in south Wales. Credit: ITV

Parents are being urged to take responsibility for their children after 12-year-olds badly damaged two acres of land near houses in Maesteg.

The pair admitted starting a fire behind Lon-Y-Parc, close to the gardens of several houses, on March 23 after they were caught on CCTV and spoken to by police.

In a separate incident on the same day, a 15 year-old boy admitted starting a small fire in the forestry above Caerau Colliery Site. The teen was filmed by a dog walker who sent the video to police and officers identified him.

Twelve-year-olds started a fire near Lon-Y-Parc, Maesteg. Credit: Google Maps

All three boys admitted their guilt and were interviewed under caution at a police station and referred to the Youth Justice Service to provide support in the hope to stop them from re-offending, police said.

'Take responsibility for your children'

Sergeant Richard Lea said: "My plea is for parents to take responsibility for their children, and to drum into them now, the dangers and the consequences of deliberate fires.

"Not only do grass fires have a devastating and long-lasting impact on our countryside and mountains, they also put our emergency services – in particular our fire services – under significant strain.

"Many, if not most children are well aware that setting grass fires is wrong - those who have helped us with our enquires recently deserve praise for their actions, and I would encourage others to do the same."

Deliberate fires in the South Wales valleys have previously had huge consequences.

A blaze damaged the equivalent size of 70 football pitches on a mountain near Caerphilly in April 2021.

Anybody who has information about a deliberately set fire can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 – or via an online anonymous form at