There were more fires in Hertfordshire over the summer months than there have been for more than 10 years, new figures have revealed.

And data also shows the county's fire and rescue service is failing to meet its targets.

Statistics show that this summer – between July and September – there were 429 so-called ‘primary’ fires - those that involve property.

That’s a 25 per cent increase in the 344 attended by the fire service during the same period in 2017.

The number of ‘secondary’ fires – which typically involve scrubland or rubbish – more than doubled, from 314 last summer to 712.

The data was presented to a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council’s resources and performance cabinet panel on Friday.

In both cases the increase has been put down to the hot summer weather.

“This increase is due to recent summer weather and the spike in numbers is the highest for over 10 years and has been reflected across the country,” says the report to the cabinet panel.

Meanwhile the report also points to a significant increase in the number of those fires that are  ‘deliberate’, which are measured as a rate per 10,000 population.

During the period between July and September in 2017 there were 2.83 ‘deliberate’ fires per 10,000 population.

But according to the report, this year that rate rose sharply to 4.93.

The report states: “It is likely that the rise in numbers is again linked to the recent hot weather (as this offers more opportunities for arson attacks) but data will be compared with the next quarter.”

The data also shows that the fire services did not meet its attendance targets.

Currently ‘attendance standards’ dictate that a first fire appliance should reach a property fire within 10 minutes, 90 per cent of the time.

A second appliance is expected to arrive within 13 minutes and a third within 16.

However the data shows that in the three months between July and September the first appliance arrived within 10 minutes on 87.5 per cent of occasions.

The second arrived within the 13-minute target 86.1 per cent of the time. And the third arrived within 16 minutes on 86.2 per cent of the times.

The report states: “On occasion the nearest available appliances to an incident are too far away to meet the service’s attendance standards.

“For the second quarter of 2018/19, in cases where the mobilising system estimated that an appliance would arrive within the standards and it did not the most common reasons provided by the crews for delay were heavy traffic and the location of the incident changing en route.”