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Firefighters spend 17 hours tackling grassfire

Around 45 firefighters and eight engines tackled the grassfire blaze on the mountain above Godre’r Graig in the Swansea Valley on Tuesday.

Firefighter Sion Phillips from Amman Valley Fire Station. Credit: mawwfire.gov.uk

The fire began around 8am before spreading across 176 hectares of grass, gorse and forestry which were destroyed.

Emergency services believe the fire was started deliberately and urge people with information to call the police.

More grass fires overnight as fire crews kept busy

Fire crews across Wales have had another busy night tackling grass fires.

A view of grass fires on the mountain at Clydach Vale at the weekend. Credit: ITV Wales News / Rob Osborne

In the North firefighters are still at the scene of a blaze at Llandecwyn near Harlech having been called out at around 7pm. The fire front is said to be half a mile wide.

Crews will return to the scene later of two fires at Foel Mountain near Cwmafan and at Godr'r Graig near Pontardawe.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been called out to incidents at Newport, Maesteg, Abertillery, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Cross Keys, Trehafod and Mountain Ash.

Welsh Government to hold 'grass fires summit'

The Welsh Government has announced it will hold a summit next week to tackle the outbreak of grass fires that have blighted south Wales over the last month.

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, will meet with key players to "discuss and formulate" a programme of action.

A grass fire over homes at Machen on Monday. Credit: Francesca Godfrey

Communities affected by grass fires are "rightly angry and want action taken" says the Welsh Government's Minister for Public Services.

In a statement on Tuesday leighton Andrews said tackling "this menace must mean much more than just fighting fires or prosecuting offenders. It needs robust action at the community level to divert people away from setting fires, and to identify and expose those who do."

Mr Andrews outlined what measures are being taken to tackle the problem, they include:

  • South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is working with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to deliver a hard-hitting presentation to all secondary schools setting out the impact that these fires have, and making sure that young people understand the seriousness of these crimes
  • The Service is also co-ordinating links with community groups such as the Bicycle Doctor in Porth, Wildfire FOA in RCT, and the Grass Fire and Mountain Fire Prevention Teams in Caerphilly, RCT and elsewhere
  • The Welsh Government will co-ordinate action working with the Fire Service, the Police, schools, Local Authorities and Natural Resources Wales.

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'These are serious crimes': Police to pursue grass fire arsonists

A "warning shot" has been fired by South Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes to those intent on causing grass fires across the region.

He told ITV News that he promises to take "robust action wherever possible" on those caught setting their communities alight.

Police arrest children in grass fire outbreaks

South Wales Police investigating hundreds of grass fires across south Wales have arrested a number of children.

Four youths aged between 12 and 14 were arrested in Maerdy on Sunday evening and have since been bailed pending further enquiries.

In a separate matter, an 11 year-old boy was arrested in Taff; he, and others members of a group, were taken home to their parents by officers who gave them stern advice.

Grass fire between Abercynon and Cilfynydd at the weekend. Credit: Alex Richards

Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes has fired a "warning shot" to those intent on causing grass fires across the region.

He has promised to take robust action wherever possible on those caught setting their communities alight.

What is most concerning is that we believe that many of these grass fires are being cause by children. This must be addressed and everybody can do their bit in the community. Teachers, neighbours, shop owners, but most importantly parents or carers have a role to play and can make a stand against this recurring problem.

– Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes
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