FIRESTARTERS have been warned that their actions could kill.
It follows several deliberate grass fires in the Boldon Colliery woods area.
Since April 6, police have received five reports of fires which have caused extensive damage to trees and fencing.
However, consequences could have been more tragic had the fire spread, causing people to be trapped in the flames. Also, resources are being directed away from other emergencies to deal with the incidents.
Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson said: “This may seem like a bit of harmless fun to those involved, but the consequences can be serious and potentially fatal.
“It doesn’t take much for a small fire to ignite and spread, especially as the weather gets warmer.
“Deliberate fires also waste valuable resources – while emergency services are dealing with this, they are not able to attend other more potentially life threatening incidents.
“We are doing all we can to find those responsible who face being prosecuted for these mindless actions.
“These areas are popular with walkers and joggers, and I’d urge anyone who spotted any suspicious activity, or who has any information to help our investigations, to come forward.”
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191.