FIREFIGHTERS in Huddersfield have been stretched with a massive upsurge in call-outs.
They have dealt with almost 30 incidents over the last 24 hours - about two-thirds more than the usual number.
Most of the calls have been to minor rubbish or grass fires, as well as a lot of false alarms.
Other crews have had to come into the area from Holmfirth, Slaithwaite, Brighouse and Elland to deal with calls because the Huddersfield crews have already been out at emergencies.
Leading Fireman Brian Rhodes, of Huddersfield Fire Station, said: "We've had 29 calls since 9am yesterday. These have included 12 false alarms, mainly to genuine fire alarms which have gone off in businesses, but there have been a lot of rubbish fires."
He added: "People seem to be dumping rubbish such as old mattresses and things like that.
"Other people then come along and set fire to them."
He urged people to take their rubbish to council tips.
"We had a skip fire on Beck Road in Huddersfield at 6am today. Why would anyone want to set fire to a skip, especially at that time in the morning?"
These minor arson incidents worry firefighters in two ways.
The arsonists may get a taste for starting fires and cause larger blazes, but while crews are busy with these small jobs, a call could come in about a serious road crash or a house fire.
Elland firefighters had to turn out for a fire alarm at Armitage Mills on Armitage Road, Armitage Bridge, at 6.20pm yesterday because the Huddersfield fire crews were at another job.
Children had started a fire in an outhouse they were using as a den and the smoke had seeped into the mill basement, triggering the smoke detectors.
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