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Grassland fires

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  • Release date: 18 October 2017
  • Period covered: 2016-17
An annual report which includes information on type of fire, casualties, damage and source.

Key points


  • The Welsh Fire and Rescue Authorities attended 1,716 grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2016-17, a decrease of 47 per cent on 2015-16.  The number of these fires is prone to fluctuation and the 2016-17 figure follows a period of instability. The 2016-17 figure is the lowest in the time series (from 2001 02).
  • In 2016-17, both primary and secondary grassland, woodland and crop fires fell by 40 and 47 per cent respectively; there were 71 primary fires (118 in 2015-16) and 1,645 secondary fires (3,097 in 2015-16). 
  • In 2016-17, over three quarters of primary and secondary fires on grassland, woodland and crops were started deliberately.
  • In 2016-17, 23 per cent of grassland, woodland and crop fires occurred in April 2016, half the proportion and almost a third of the number in April 2015. 
  • Of the grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2016-17, 54 per cent were in South Wales, 28 per cent were in Mid and West Wales and 17 per cent were in North Wales.


  • There were 2 non-fatal casualties but no fatal casualties from grassland, woodland and crop fires in Wales in 2016 17. The last fatality resulting from a grassland fire occurred in 2007-08.


  • In 2016-17, over three fifths of grassland, woodland and crop fires damaged an area less than 20 square metres. Around 1 in 6 damaged an area of more than 200 square metres. 


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