South Scotland

Grass blazes stretch fire service

Fire engine
Image caption There has been a rise in call-outs for for the fire and rescue service

A fire service has warned it could be left short of emergency cover due to a rise in grassland blazes being started deliberately.

It follows incidents in and around Kelloholm in Dumfries and Galloway.

The region's chief fire officer Gerry Campbell warned that such fires could get out of control very quickly.

He urged members of the public who spotted anyone starting a fire in trees or vegetation to contact Crimestoppers as well as the fire service.

"Grass fires or wildfires can develop rapidly depending on the type of vegetation on fire," said Mr Campbell.

He said that wind and weather conditions could result in "members of the public and wildlife becoming trapped or surrounded by the grass fire".

"Furthermore, fire appliances attending these types of incidents are then potentially unable to respond to other incidents leaving communities at risk," he added.

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