Number of deliberate fires in Dumfries and Galloway rose during 2020 lockdown

09 April 2021

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The number of deliberate fires in the region increased during last year’s lockdown.

There were 41 incidents between February and April compared to 32 incidents over the same period the previous year – an increase of more than a quarter.

The figures from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service buck the national trend with the country seeing a drop from 3,658 to 2,491.

Local senior officer for Dumfries and Galloway Craig McGoldrick said: “During April, 2020, we experienced a period of hot weather, dry conditions and some grass and forest fires which included incidents at Dalbeattie Forest, Mossdale and Upper Nithsdale.

“Deliberate fires have the potential to cause injury and even death or cause devastating damage to our environment and properties.

“One deliberate fire is one too many – they are a needless drain on emergency service resources at a difficult time

“Our firefighters and community action teams have been and will continue to work extremely hard to engage with the public and promote safety messages. But as we cannot conduct school visits or engage with young people directly through clubs and groups, we ask parents, guardians and carers to help by making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks and consequences of deliberate fire setting.

“It is vital we continue to remind people that deliberate fire setting is a crime and a criminal record can affect future life and job opportunities – a price that can be easily avoided.”

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