THE number of deliberate field fires that were started across Barnsley this year have more than doubled.

Between July 30 and August 31 this year, 95 call-outs to deliberate grassland blazes recorded as ‘serious’ by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

The majority, fire crews say, were started by youngsters and three of the most serious - at Dodworth, Monk Bretton and Lundwood - damaged properties and ‘decimated’ wildlife.

Fire Crews are set to head into schools across Barnsley in an effort to avoid a repeat of this summer’s arson figures.

Simon Brookes, community safety manager for SYFR, said: “It’s been an unprecedented period and it’s one that’s been the worst on record for deliberate grassland fires.

"No-one can be certain as to why that’s the case but what we can do is get into schools and warn youngsters about the impact these fires have."