Wales

Drones 'to spot potential arsonists' in south Wales

Firefighters tackle grassfire in Rhondda Cynon Taff in 2017
Image caption Fire chiefs said the drones would also be used while the fires are burning to help firefighters target efforts

Drones are being used in south Wales to try to spot potential arsonists before they get chance to start grass fires.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the technology would be used to monitor areas where they know "there are going to be fires".

Fire chiefs said the drones would also be used while the fires are burning to help firefighters target efforts.

Fire breaks have been cut into vegetation over winter to help cut the number and severity of blazes.

Craig Hope, the lead wildfire officer at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said grass fire arson had reduced in the last year.

However, he said that without action any further fires could be bigger because there was more vegetation - or "fuel load" - to burn.

He told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme: "This is now a two-pronged attack. As well as trying to combat the antisocial behaviour, the deliberate ignitions, we are also managing the fuel load.

"We will be using the drones both when the fires are burning, for firefighter safety and community safety, but also monitoring areas where we know there are going to be fires so we can look out for anti-social behaviour."

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is working with South Wales and Gwent Police on the project.

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