Authorities set new approach to tackling spate of grass fires

A new approach on tackling the vast number of grassland fires that have threatened communities right across Wales has been set at a conference in Cardiff. Since the beginning of the month firefighters have dealt with 1,200 fires that were deliberately started.

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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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