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Grassland fires

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  • Release date: 24 October 2018
  • Period covered: 2017-18
An annual report which includes information on type of fire, casualties, damage and source.

Key points


  • The Welsh Fire and Rescue Authorities attended 2,090 grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2017-18, an increase of 22 per cent on 2016-17. The number of these fires is prone to fluctuation and the 2017-18 figure follows a period of instability. The 2017-18 figure is the second lowest in the time series (from 2001-02).
  • In 2017-18, primary grassland, woodland and crop fires fell slightly whilst the number of secondary grassland, woodland and crop fires rose by 23 per cent; there were 68 primary fires (71 in 2016-17) and 2,022 secondary fires (1,645 in 2016-17). 
  • In 2017-18, over three quarters of fires on grassland, woodland and crops were started deliberately.
  • In April 2017 the number of grassland, woodland and crop fires doubled compared with April 2016 and accounted for 38 per cent of the grassland fires in the year. Met Office weather data shows April 2017 saw around 70 per cent less rainfall but also around 8 per cent fewer hours of sunshine, compared with April 2016.
  • Of the grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2017-18, more than half (52 per cent) were in South Wales; a further 31 per cent were in Mid and West Wales and 17 per cent were in North Wales.


  • There were 5 non-fatal casualties but no fatal casualties from grassland, woodland and crop fires in Wales in 2017-18. The last fatality resulting from a grassland fire occurred in 2007-08.


  • In 2017-18, more than half of grassland, woodland and crop fires damaged an area less than 20 square metres. Almost a fifth damaged an area of more than 200 square metres.


Grassland fire data are published in a supplementary report to the Fire and Rescue Incident Statistics produced in August 2018.


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