FIREFIGHTERS are asking communities for help after tackling dozens of outdoor fires in the past seven days.

One grass fire in Shotts on Wednesday took more than half an hour and 15 officers to get under control.

Crews from Shotts, Coatbridge and Mother-well attended the blaze, which had spread across a large grassy area at Benhar Road.

It was one of 54 incidents which happened in the last week and officers are now asking residents to dispose of their waste carefully in a bid to increase safety.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area manager John Miller said blazes were often started by children setting rubbish alight.

He added: "Attending deliberate fires involv-ing grassland and rubbish means at least one of our crews would be unavailable to respond to a house fire or a road traffic collision."