Fife parents are being urged to talk to their children about the dangers of fire-raising after the number of incidents in one town trebled.
In the year 2016 to 2017, 78 deliberate fires were recorded in Cowdenbeath, compared to 27 two years before.
Fire-raising has increased across all areas of Fife, with the wider Cowdenbeath area — taking in Lochgelly, Cardenden and the Lochs — recording 148 incidents.
The total is up from 95 in 2014-15 and higher than anywhere else in the region.
A small number of deliberate fires have involved buildings or vehicles, but in most cases rubbish or bins were set alight.
Following a recent spate of bin fires, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with Police Scotland and Fife Council community safety officers to educate schoolchildren about the dangers of fire-raising.
Sergeant Caine McIntyre from Police Scotland said: “This type of behaviour is hugely irresponsible, risking the safety of the individuals involved, as well as those in the nearby area.
“It requires an emergency service response, when we could be helping people in need elsewhere, and causes significant harm to property and upset to communities.
“I’d urge parents and guardians to talk to their young people about the dangers of such behaviour and the potential consequences, which can have an impact on their future.”
School visits are focusing on the Dunfermline and west Fife area.
Station manager Mike Youngston from the fire service said a fire at St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Kelty in early January could have had much more serious consequences.
“An industrial wheelie bin was pushed up against the school and set alight. It damaged an external fire door at the school,” he said.
“We got the alarm because some smoke got inside of the school.
“At the exact same time, there was a road traffic collision up at the flyover and there could have been a delay because resources had to be deployed from Dunfermline.
“It wasn’t a bad road traffic collision, but is could have been, and the outcome could have been a lot different.”
He said he hoped giving pupils examples, such as the St Joseph’s fire, would help get the message across.
“The road traffic collision up the road could have been their parents and this drives the message home a little bit better,” he added.
A small number of deliberate fires involve buildings or vehicles, but in most cases rubbish or bins are set alight.