EMERGENCY services and East Lothian Council have teamed up in a bid to tackle a spate of “reckless and dangerous” fires in Dunbar.

Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the local authority’s safer communities team will work together over the coming weeks and months to tackle the anti-social behaviour problem, which also includes underage drinking and littering.

Reports have been made of fires being set in Lochend Woods, off Kellie Road, over the past month.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews will visit the town to talk to young people and advise them about the dangers of setting fires.

An SFRS spokesman told the Courier: “During the holiday season and especially when there is dry weather, we can unfortunately see an increase in the number of deliberate fires.

“This illegal activity is not only reckless and dangerous but can divert SFRS resources away from genuine emergencies.

“It is important that people understand the potential consequences of this dangerous behaviour.

“Fires not only put lives at risk but they can devastate homes, affect businesses and damage the local environment.”

Meanwhile, various talks will take place at Dunbar Grammar School ahead of the summer holidays to warn youngsters about anti-social behaviour and the serious consequences that it can have.

Chief Inspector Matt Paden, local area commander for East Lothian, said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour in all its forms remains a priority across East Lothian and officers work closely with our colleagues at East Lothian Council and other relevant agencies to address any such issues whenever they arise.

“We are aware of the recent incidents within Dunbar and I’d like to assure the local community that we are conducting various lines of local inquiry to identify the culprits and deter further incidents taking place.

“Our youth community officers continue to provide inputs to schools on the dangers associated with underage drinking and disorder, while local officers regularly engage with the public to identify anti-social behaviour hotspots so that resources can be deployed appropriately.”

Tom Shearer, head of communities and partnerships at East Lothian Council, warned about the dangers of setting fires.

He added: “The continued spell of dry weather means that further fires could become substantial and pose a risk to life and property.

“In addition, underage drinking, significant littering and other examples of anti-social behaviour have been reported and challenged by both community wardens and local police officers.

“The area will now be the subject of increased police and community warden patrols over the coming weeks.”

Anyone looking to report anti-social behaviour or information about deliberate fire-raising should call Police Scotland on 101 or report it anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.