Fury over gorse fire arsonists
Lives have been put at risk by thousands of deliberate gorse fires started across Northern Ireland over the last year, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has warned.
Some 3,100 fires were dealt with in 2009/10.
The minister, who has responsibility for the Fire Service, said emergency crews were being put at risk battling the attacks, while resources were being diverted from other emergencies.
The release of the latest figures for fires that have blighted hillsides and mountain ranges come after it emerged that £35m was spent over five years tackling deliberate gorse fires.
Mr McGimpsey called on the public to report fires.