ARSONISTS lighting gorse fires across the Strabane district cost the Fire Service £400,000 last year.
During their busiest summer on record, hundreds of Northern Ireland Fire Service personnel were drafted in to deal with almost 150 gorse fires across the district.
In a Freedom of Information document provided to the Strabane Chronicle, it is revealed that between January and March last year 35 fires were dealt with at an average cost of £2,521 per incident.
That spiked sharply though between April and December when 112 grass fires had to be extinguished at an average cost of £2,778 per incident.
Now, with the summer months approaching again, Fire Service top brass have warned that lives will be lost if those responsible continue to set blazes in rural locations.