"MISINFORMATION" on social media has led to a spate of arson attacks on phone masts in West Yorkshire - according to fire service bosses.
At a meeting of West Yorkshire Fire Authority on Friday, members were given an update on some of the biggest blazes in recent months.
One of these was a mast next to a block of flats on Lower Quarry Road, Bradley on April 16 at 1.30am.
Six engines from across West Yorkshire and 36 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze and prevent it spreading to the flats.
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus there have been numerous conspiracy theories about the virus shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites - including one that 5G phone masts are somehow responsible for the spread.
The claims have no basis in scientific fact, and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said the conspiracy theory is "dangerous nonsense."
5G mast in Otley Road Bradford set on fire this morning
The report to members said the Bradley fire was an arson, adding: "There is a spate of copycat incidents fuelled by misinformation on social media sites."
Earlier this month a 5G phone mast on Otley Road, Bradford, was damaged in a suspected arson attack.
There was a similar arson attack on a mast in Bierley in July.
After that incident local Councillor Michael Johnson (Lab, Tong) described people behind such attacks as "idiots" adding: "It's as daft as believing the Earth is flat or the Moon is made of cream cheese."