SEVERAL acts of arson kept firefighters busy overnight, prompting a fire chief to warn those who set deliberate fires face stiff penalties.
Aston station firefighters put out a refuse fire on Bole Hill in Treeton at 7.50pm, leaving the scene around 25 minutes later.
A Maltby station crew was called to a corn field fire on Flanderwell Lane in Sunnyside at 9.30pm, leaving around half an hour later.
And Cudworth station attended a refuse fire on Biscay Way in Wath at 9.50pm, leaving around 25 minutes later.
Steve Helps, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's head of prevention, said: "We get called to dozens of field and farm fires each year in South Yorkshire, with many occurring around harvesting time.
"Not only do fires like this put lives at risk by potentially diverting fire engines away from other, life-threatening incidents, they also cost farmers thousands of pounds in damage.
"The maximum sentence for arson is life in prison. People do get caught and do get prosecuted, so we urge people to report arsonists to the police."
To help prevent fires, farmers are being asked to remove hay and straw as soon as possible after harvesting, store fuels, fertilisers and pesticides securely and check unoccupied and remote areas of the farm to make sure they are safe and secure.
Anyone with information about people starting fires in their area should call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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