PEOPLE are being warned not to start deliberate fires as emergency cover remains reduced due to the industrial action.
Staffordshire's chief fire officer Peter Dartford expressed his 'shock and dismay' after learning that deliberate fires have started to be set during the national Fire Brigades Union strike periods – which last until Monday.
He said: "It is very frustrating that at a time when fire cover is reduced that we have people thinking it is clever and fun to start deliberate blazes.
"Fire cover is lessened during these strikes and so while crews are attending these incidents it means that they are not immediately available to attend other incidents which could be life threatening.
"I wonder what the people responsible would think if we were delayed attending an incident such as a house fire or car crash that involved one of their own family or friends because we were busy dealing with a fire that they had started.
"The information that we were given during the emergency calls to these incidents does suggest that young people were responsible for starting some of these fires and so we'd urge parents to explain the dangers and to know what their children are up to, particularly during these strike periods which are ongoing until next Monday."
There were 433 deliberate fires started in East Staffordshire during the past year.