FIRE fighters in Wales tackled more than 2,000 grass, woodland and crop fires last year, less than half the number they attended the previous year.

In total the three Welsh fire and rescue services attended 2,142 such fires in 2012/13, down 56 per cent on 2011/12.

This is the lowest figure since 2001/2 and is likely to have been influenced by Wales' wettest weather in a decade, according to StatsWales and the Met Office.

In 2012-13, there were 61 primary grassland, woodland and crop fires (the most serious type of fire, usually involving property, vehicles, casualties or rescues), a year-on-year drop of 76 per cent, and 2,081 secondary grassland, woodland and crop fires (often outside or in derelict buildings), a fall of 55 per cent.

More than four-fifths of those fires were started deliberately and about 70 per cent happened in spring months.

Half the fires were in South Wales, 34 per cent were in Mid and West Wales and 13 per cent in North Wales.

There were five non-fatal casualties as a result of the fires, and more than half of the fires damaged an area less than 20 square metres, similar to the previous year.