Fire chiefs are warning arsonists could ‘be left with blood on their hands’ in a new hard-hitting awareness campaign.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is leading a campaign launched this week as figures show nearly 800 deliberate fires were started in the 12 months up to March this year in Kirklees.

The breakdown shows there were 138 deliberate fires to homes, commercial premises and vehicles and 661 calls to rubbish and grassland fires.

Over in Calderdale crews attended 505 deliberate fires including 91 to homes, businesses and vehicles.

Overall throughout West Yorkshire arson attacks cost the service around £2m a year with 5,500 deliberate fires across the county that have resulted in three deaths and 50 people being hurt.

Fire safety area manager Ian Bitcon said: “Our message is that what starts out as high jinks and a small fire can easily spread and could result in a serious criminal conviction, or worse still, a loss of life. Do you want to be left with blood on your hands?”

“We are approaching the summer holidays and while we do not wish to brand a particular group of people as responsible, we do typically see a rise in rubbish and grassland fires at this time of the year which tends to suggest they are started by children.

“The destructive nature of these fires is a drain on the public purse and ties up the resources of our life-saving fire engines.”

WYFRS last week visited schools in north Huddersfield following a spate of arson attacks in the Deighton area.

A 19-year-old man was subsequently arrested.

For more fire safety information visit and look out for our campaign messages on the official Facebook and Twitter page @West_Yorks_FRS using #StubOutArson