Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding young adults that deliberately starting grass fires could result in a criminal conviction and a prison sentence of up to two years or a maximum fine of £5,000.
Lighting grass fires has other serious consequences too including firefighters who have to tackle them being unable to attend other emergencies such as house fires and car accidents.
Prevention Manager Donna Broadhead said: “People who deliberately start grass fires don’t consider the wider consequences of their behaviour. Grass fires quickly burn down underground and can continue to burn for a very long time which means firefighters have to stay at the scene for hours, sometimes days, to monitor underground hotspots.
“If firefighters are tied up for long periods dealing with such fires then they are not available to attend genuine emergencies which could result in a delay in reaching someone trapped in a house fire or car crash.
“We are reminding those who deliberately start grass fires that not only do they risk injury to themselves and other people, including firefighters, they also risk getting a criminal record and being imprisoned or heavily fined.”
Safety advice includes not playing with matches or lighters and to tell a responsible adult if someone is playing with fire.
Smokers are also urged to dispose of cigarette ends and matches safely to avoid starting a fire inadvertently.
People are also advised to put all litter in bins as sunlight shining through bottles and glass left on the ground can start a fire.