South Wales grass fires may delay firefighter responses

John Bulpin captured this picture of the fire while flying a microlight in the area Image copyright @johnbulpin59/Twitter
Image caption A grass fire spread to 1,000 tyres in Ynyshir, Rhondda Cynon Taff, on Wednesday

Firefighters could be delayed getting to house fires and road accidents because they are dealing with grass fires, a senior officer has warned.

South Wales' assistant chief fire officer Richard Prendergast said crews were not as readily available to respond to other emergencies.

But he said contingencies were in place.

It comes after the south Wales service had to deal with 49 deliberate grass fires in just 12 hours.

Crews were called to a grass fire on Oakland Terrace in Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taff, which forced the closure of the road but it has since reopened.

On Wednesday, the service received 500 calls and 73 fire engines have been used while crews are said to be "exhausted".

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