South East Wales

Rhondda fire crews tackle grass blaze for a day

Fire fighter sprays grass fire
Image caption Fire fighters tackled the blaze as it spread over about 20 acres of grass and shrubbery

Fire crews have spent 24 hours tackling a grass fire in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said around eight hectares (20 acres) of grassland and shrubbery were destroyed in Clydach Vale.

The blaze was one of seven the force was dealing with on Saturday but it was the largest in that area.

Meanwhile, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said they are were dealing with a large forestry fire at Rhos y Gwalia at Aberhirnant near Bala.

Fire crews were called out to Clydach Vale on Friday evening. They returned on Saturday just as an increase in the wind whipped up the flames.

Three fire crews tackled the blaze on Saturday, with equipment including an eight-wheeled all-terrain vehicle.

BBC Radio Wales reporter Stephen Fairclough accompanied one crew as they tackled the blaze.

He said: "It's a very physical and demanding type of fire fighting because by the very nature of the terrain they can only get their appliances in so far.

"They were very frustrated that they were spending time dealing with incident like this.

"It was an area where there had been several previous fires."

The fire services say the grass fires endanger staff, divert resources, threaten property and harm tourism and wildlife.

A spokesperson for the south Wales fire service said: "I would like to think it was accidental but it's more than likely it was started deliberately."

The problem of grass fires will be one of the subjects covered in a new series of Eye of Wales, starting on 15 May on BBC Radio Wales.