ARSONISTS who destroyed more than 50 trees in a major blaze are putting lives at risk.
The firebugs struck three times on Kilner Bank at Rawthorpe - and one of the fires took hold and swept through the trees above the McAlpine Stadium.
Firefighters say the flames took hold so quickly they could easily have trapped the children suspected of starting the blaze.
The firebugs struck three times on Kilner Bank on Thursday evening.
One of the fires took hold at 7.30pm, sweeping through the trees above the stadium. The blaze could be seen for miles and smoke seeped into nearby homes.
The crews were called to the banking at 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 9pm on Thursday.
Station Officer David Rawnsley, of Huddersfield, said: "Our other fire engine was tackling a moorland blaze at Hade Edge, so the fires on Kilner Bank effectively tied up the fire cover in Huddersfield.
"If there had been a house fire or road accident in our area, crews would have been sent from other stations and would have taken longer to get there."
He added: "These arsonists are not only putting other lives at risk, but also their own.
"The grass is so tinder dry, the fire can spread faster than they can run."