Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has revealed a welcome drop in the number of grass fires attended by the Service in 2012.
“Crime doesn’t stop just because it’s raining and arson is a crime."
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj
Grass fires were down 79% between January and September this year compared with the same period last year. The Service has attended 205 grass fires since January, the majority of which were small grass fires dealt with by targeted response vehicles.
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: “The wet weather has contributed to the reduction in grass fires however the pro-active work we have carried out has also had a positive impact.
“Crime doesn’t stop just because it’s raining and arson is a crime – no matter how small the fire started is, deliberately starting a fire is a serious offence.
“There have still been over 200 grass fires so far this year and we will continue to work hard as a Service and with partner agencies to bring this number down even more.”
The Flames Aren’t Games campaign was to highlight the dangers of deliberately starting grass fires after statistics revealed there were over 1,000 grass fires in the county last year.
The Service tends to see a dangerous increase in grass fires over the school holidays, which is often due to children and teenagers starting fires deliberately. Of the 1,191 grass fires last year, nearly half were started during the school holidays and 86% of all grass fires were deliberately started.
Flames Aren’t Games billboards were erected in Stoke-on-Trent, Cannock and Tamworth this year - three grass fire hot spots - over the Easter and summer holidays in a bid to highlight the dangers of deliberately starting fires.
Firefighters also spent time educating children at schools across the county before they broke up for the Easter and summer holidays.
A new initiative this year was StreetStadia. Initially trialled over the Easter break in Cannock and statistics show StreetStadia had a positive impact on reducing grass fires. During the dates StreetStadia was in Cannock firefighters attended just two grass fires, compared with 10 during the same period in 2011.
StreetStadia was then used in Cannock, Stafford and Tamworth over the summer holidays. Statistics show grass fires were down to none this year in all three areas whilst the StreetStadia was being used.