Wales

Brecon Beacons' 'worst' grass fires in 30 years

Firefighters working in the Brecon Beacons
Image caption Fire fighters in Wales have dealt with more than 300 grass fires since 1 May

Wardens from the Brecon Beacons National Park say they have contained their worst grass fire in 30 years.

Park managers said they could not have come at a worst time, affecting nesting birds and wildlife.

Meanwhile, a number of new fires broke out overnight, including four hectares of land at Llwynypia in Rhondda Valley.

Around 35 firefighters are dealing with a gorse fire at Moel y Gest, near Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog, Gwynedd stretching across a quarter of mile.

Firefighters in Wales say they hope to see prosecutions after tackling about 300 grass and gorse fires since 1 May, many started deliberately.

"Burning at this time of year is particularly damaging," said Brecon Beacons national park area manager Judith Harvey.

"Not only have we lost the vegetation but we have lost all the wealth of bird nests.

"I don't think we have ever had as intensive and difficult to put out fires this late in the breeding season," she said.

'It's really bad'

For three days, nearly 2,000 acres of upland common and peat bog has been burning in a "catastrophic fire" in the Brecon Beacons between Trapp, Brynamman and Llandeilo.

Overnight, two crews from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been called to a gorse fire at Sarn Helen, near Lampeter.

Meanwhile, seven fire engines and about 35 firefighters have been dealing with a fire on gorse land at Moel y Gest, near Morfa Bychan, Porthmadog, stretching across a quarter of mile.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which has dealt with more than 110 incidents, said it would work closely with police to try to secure prosecutions where fires had been started on purpose.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has dealt with more than 150 fires since 1 May, including two that had burned for over 24 hours.

North Wales crews have been called to 16 large blazes, including another major fire near Pwllheli, Gwynedd.

"We're all really very upset to see this and on such a scale as well," said Mrs Harvey, referring to the fire in the Brecon Beacons.

"I would say it is the worst in 20 years if not 30 years - it's really bad."

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