The National Fire Chiefs Council has reported a spike in deliberate fires over the weekend in some areas across the country - and has slammed this as irresponsible, especially at a time when all FRSs are under additional pressures.

All fire services across the UK are working together to ensure a joined-up approach, and staff are doing their upmost to ensure fire services are at the forefront in the fight against COVID19.

There have also been a number of wildfires, with the Council urging landowners not to undertake unnecessary prescribed or controlled burns.

Chair of the NFCC, Roy Wilsher, said: “During these unprecedented times, the fire service is working hard to ensure the safety of the community, doing their upmost to protect the most vulnerable.

“However, it is unbelievable that we have seen a rise in deliberate fires reported in some areas in the past few days. All services are already under increased pressure; this is just piling more on to already stretched resources.”

While Fire and Rescue Services have placed an emphasis on maintaining operational response, work is underway to ensure support is provided to the most vulnerable people across the country.

Examples of work taking place include the delivery of food and medicines, giving support to the police and ambulance services, along with health colleagues.

Mr Wilsher added: “We will use our wide-range of capabilities and skills to ensure we provide community reassurance and support. This will be achieved by using our operational and support staff to ensure we maximise our capacity, while ensuring fire services are responding effectively to the current situation.

“We are urging people to carry out - and pay particular attention - to fire prevention methods in the home. This is especially important at a time when people are spending more time at home.”

Fire services are working closely with partners such as the police, health, ambulance, local authorities and Local Resilience Forums to look at where we can assist communities.

Services will also continue to ensure the well-being of all their staff is a priority, in line with nationally approved advice.