THE number of deliberate fires in Dunfermline last year shot up to 100. 

The figures climbed from 88 in 2015-16 and were described as a “significant increase” by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

There were 761 incidents of deliberate fire-setting across Fife, a five-year high. Most of the cases saw rubbish, woodlands or wheelie bins set ablaze. 

In West Fife, the council wards that saw most deliberate fires in 2016-17 were Dunfermline Central, The Lochs and West Fife and Coastal Villages. 
There has been a worrying rise in the Dunfermline area over the past five years, with 67 fires in 2012-13 increasing to 100 in 2016-17. 

Fire chiefs previously identified two problem areas in Duloch – South Fod Farm and Calais Muir Woods – where at least 14 fires were started deliberately over a 12-month period. 

The figures in South West Fife have stayed roughly the same – there were 89 in 2012-13 and 84 last year. 

Mark Bryce, a group manager at SFRS, said: “We continue to target schools in high-activity areas to deliver talks regarding the dangers and consequences of deliberate fire-setting. 

“These talks take place normally in April and October, which are the peak periods of activity.”

Mr Bryce’s report to Fife Council said non-domestic fires were also at a “five-year high” across the Kingdom and had more than doubled in Dunfermline.

There were 12 in the town in 2012-13 and that jumped to 25 in 2016-17. In South West Fife, the number of incidents were nine and eight respectively. 

There were four casualties from road traffic collisions in Dunfermline in 2016-17 and 16 in South West Fife. 

Three people were killed on South West Fife roads in that period. 
Last year, there were 31 accidental house fires in Dunfermline and 27 in South West Fife, both improvements from the previous year. 

Cooking and smoking materials were the main sources of ignition. 

Across the two areas in 2016-17, there were 11 casualties, and one fatality in South West Fife, due to fires. 

Mr Bryce said: “Despite the ongoing work of our personnel and partners, our incident numbers have not reduced as we had hoped across the period.”

He added: “The number and causes of fire fatalities and casualties across the period is disappointing, given the ongoing local and national awareness campaigns in the press.”