Safer Neighbourhood Team officers in Three Rivers are warning of the dangers of setting open fires after several incidents on Chorleywood Common.
In recent weeks, there have been six separate occasions where the team have found evidence of deliberate fire-setting on the common and surrounding woodland.
Three people were spoken to in connection with one incident and their details have been recorded.
PCSO Dean Redhead, one of the local officers for the Chorleywood ward, said: “I have been regularly patrolling the common and have found evidence of what I believe is deliberate fire-setting, as well as some instances which may be due to campfires or barbecues.
“Not only is this having a detrimental effect on the trees, plants and animals on the common, but it has the potential to be very dangerous if the fire spreads out of control.
“The deliberate setting of fires in an open space is classed as arson. Recently the weather has been a mixture of sunshine and showers but if we have a prolonged period of hot weather later in the summer, the conditions on the common become like a tinder box.
“Even a discarded cigarette has the potential to cause huge devastation to a fantastic green space that we should all be helping to preserve and protect. Please do not set fires on the common – and instead reserve barbecues and campfires for your own garden, using suitable safety equipment.”
The common, which is a total of 80 hectares, is owned and maintained by Chorleywood Parish Council.
If you have any information about anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of Chorleywood Common, you report information online at herts.police.uk/report, talk to one of the Force Communication Room operators via web chat at herts.police.uk/contact, or call the emergency number 101.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit their website crimestoppers-uk.org.