A multi-agency taskforce of specialist from key agencies across Wales has been established to reduce, and where possible, eliminate the impact of grass fires.
Operation Dawns Glaw, which has been running since the beginning of March, is focused on delivering education, diversionary and enforcement activities around the key causes of grass fires.
Speaking on behalf of Operation Dawns Glaw and as Chair of the Wales Strategic Arson Reduction Board, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said:
“We wanted to take the opportunity to reassure the public that we are doing everything we can to reduce the number of deliberate grass fires across Wales.
“Operation Dawns Glaw has representatives from Wales’ Emergency Services and key partner agencies, all working together with one goal in mind – to eradicate deliberate grass fires.
“But we all have a part to play and we would like to remind the public that arson is a serious crime. Deliberately setting fire to our countryside is no laughing matter and places your family and friends, especially the elderly and vulnerable at risk, as well as endangering birds and wildlife in these areas. By working together, those responsible will be caught and face the full force of the law.
“We appreciate that many farmers, land owners and graziers will have been undertaking controlled burning of heather, grass, bracken and gorse on their land over recent weeks, as the end of the burn season has been closing in. However, I would like to remind them that the burning season in Wales ended on 15th of March, with the upland burning season also ending on 31st March. It is against the law to burn outside of the burning season without a special licence and those doing so could face penalties of up to a £1000.
“We would urge parents to know the whereabouts of their children at all times and to impress upon them that deliberate fires can endanger lives. We would also appeal to the public to remain vigilant and help us protect our communities and our countryside, by reporting any suspicious activity immediately to the Police”.