South West Wales

Fire crews called to further gorse fire in Solva

Firefighters used seawater to tackle a large gorse fire, which flared up twice in Pembrokeshire.

A coast road near Solva was closed to allow specialist firefighting vehicles to work from the roadside.

Residents living on High Street were advised to leave their homes as the blaze threatened homes in the early hours of Tuesday.

Soon after the incident was declared over at 1902 BST, crews were called to a further fire at nearby Middle Mill.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they have been dealing with a number of other, smaller, grass fires across the region on Tuesday.

The biggest incident started in the early hours and affected five hectares at Solva.

Trees and grass near some of the houses were doused with water as a precaution by some of the 40 firefighters working at the scene.

They tackled the blaze for 11 hours after being called to the scene at 2325 BST but it flared up again on Tuesday morning.

Emergency services have not ruled out the fire being started deliberately.

"It's a bit early to say how the fire started as our investigation is ongoing, but we certainly haven't ruled out that it was started deliberately," said Mid and West Wales Fire Service incident commander group manager Steve Bryant.

"This time of year we've seen an increase in deliberate start fires.

"This type of activity puts additional pressure on both crews and resources dealing with a potential deliberate fire where they could be needed for another emergency."

Image caption This picture was taken by a local resident Bryony Dixon early this morning, with the fire on the hillside above

At its peak, fire crews from St David's, Fishguard, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Milford Haven and specialist units from Pembroke Dock and Carmarthen were at the scene.

Five appliances along with a high volume pump, an environment protection unit, a water bowser and a new welfare unit were in use.

A water tower with a hose reel jet was used near homes to make sure they were not affected by the fire.

"At the time, we thought there was the danger that the fire might spread, so all our actions were directed at preventing the properties being involved," added Mr Bryant.

"We put the local residents on notice that they might need to be evacuated, but because of preventing it spreading to the buildings, there was no need to evacuate."

Mr Bryant praised the "co-operative" residents who helped them and said their battle was helped by strong winds blowing the fire away from the homes.

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