Deliberate Fires Endanger Lives And Destroy Environment
Written by Gavin on 20th April 2020
During these unprecedented times, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is continuing to support South Wales Fire and Rescue Service as part of Operation Dawns Glaw – a taskforce set up to reduce the number of deliberate fires across the region, and we are urging residents not to be tempted to burn garden or household waste.
What may have been intended to be just a small fire, or just a bit of fun, can quickly spread out of control.
Last year, there were nearly 4,000 deliberate rubbish fires across Wales, with the main causes being household bin bags, fly-tipped furniture and bulky items.
Deliberate fires not only put the lives of firefighters, residents and animals in danger, but they also pose substantial risk to the community and can cause significant damage to property and the environment.
Smoke pollution is a health risk that can irritate airways, the skin and eyes, cause coughing, breathlessness and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may become unwell because of fire smoke.
It is also particularly harmful to those individuals with coronavirus and other symptoms.
The Council has received a large increase of burning complaints since the Government introduced social and travel restrictions, and we urge residents be mindful of your neighbours at all times.
Rubbish fires, along with deliberate mountain fires, are extremely dangerous and can lead to a strain on valuable resources, taking firefighters away from other emergencies where lives could be in danger.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Wellbeing and Cultural Services, said: “Deliberate mountain fires are both
costly and damaging and will not be tolerated, which is why we are supporting South Wales Fire and Rescue Service with their Dawns Glaw campaign.
“We also have a responsibility to ensure that all of our waste is disposed of correctly and through legitimate waste operators. The burning of unwanted bulky items is also strictly prohibited at any time, but especially now during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.
“Some of our residents do sadly live with breathing difficulties, whilst those who are isolating due to having symptoms of coronavirus or other flu-like infections will also experience these, and it is important that these symptoms are not unnecessarily antagonised as this could result in additional strain being placed on our health services.”
Residents who dump rubbish also face fines for fly-tipping. Please act responsibly at all times and retain bulky items until it is possible to dispose of them correctly.
South Wales Fire and Rescue is aware that many more families are spending time at home, cooking, washing and using electrical items, which increases the risk of a potential fire. Diverting vital resources to deal with deliberate fires will draw fundamental and valuable resources away from communities, placing unnecessary risk on lives.
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.
Please follow Government and Health Services advice about social distancing. Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.