GWENT Police are targeting firestarters after a spate of deliberate blazes.

The rural crime team received several reports of deliberate grass fires being set across Torfaen, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent yesterday.

They are working with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service's crime unit to tackle the issue.

The teams have been involved in patrols today to try and prevent fires being set.

This has involved using drones to scan the areas known to be targeted.


A spokesman for Gwent Police's rural crime team said: "Several deliberate grass fires were reported yesterday in Torfaen, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent areas.

"To help deter and detect this activity we have been supporting the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service crime team today with patrols of identified areas, utilising drone technology."

Pontypool's Lasgarn Woods was one area damaged by wildfire last week.

More than of 15 hectares of grassland was damaged, and the fire continued to spread until it was extinguished using specialist equipment.

It is unknown whether the fire, on April 15, was started deliberately, but the fire service suspect it to be so.

In a statement, the service said: “Deliberately setting grass [fires] is irresponsible and unacceptable, but at a time of increased pressure, we need to work together and avoid putting further strain on Wales’ emergency services.

“We would urge anyone who has information on suspected deliberate fires, or who sees anything suspicious to contact 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you see a fire, or anyone starting a fire, please call 999 immediately.”