Ynyshir mountain fire spreads to 1,000 tyres

John Bulpin captured this picture of the fire while flying a microlight in the area Image copyright @johnbulpin59/Twitter
Image caption John Bulpin captured this picture of the fire from his microlight aircraft

Firefighters are tackling a large fire involving about 1,000 tyres in the Rhondda Valley after a mountain blaze spread to farmland.

Smoke from the fire at Ynyshir stretches over 10 miles and can be seen from as far away as Cardiff Bay.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called out at 13:31 BST. The blaze spread to the tyres at about 1720 BST.

Eighteen fire engines have been fighting deliberate grass fires across the region on Wednesday evening.

Image copyright @lego_cop
Image caption The fire can be seen from Cardiff Bay

Arsonists have been accused of starting more than 350 grass fires in south Wales between 1-13 April, compared with about 250 in the same period last year.

They have cost South Wales Fire and Rescue Service about £795,000 and have left crews "stretched", say bosses.

The worst affected areas are Rhondda Cynon Taff with 123 fires and Caerphilly with 54.

In north Wales, there was a spate of deliberate fires near Blaenau Ffestiniog over two nights last week.

"The crews are pushed to breaking point," said Richard Hassett, fire station commander for Treorchy and Tonypandy in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

"This obviously impacts then on us responding to more serious fires. But, as a service, we manage," he said.

Image copyright @WildFireRCT
Image caption Crews from Porth, Tonypandy, Ferndale and Pontypridd are tackling the blaze

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