Crews left reeling by grass fire epidemic

Crews left reeling by grass fire epidemic

5 April 2007

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Wales, UK — Firefighters were called to 10 grass fires across South Wales in the space of less than an hour – costing the fire service more than £20,000.

And the cost continued to soar throughout yesterday and overnight as calls about other fires across the region went into their hundreds, according to South Wales Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters had to leave one fire at the bottom of Nantgarw Hill, near the Taff Trail, because it was so fierce it was too dangerous for them to tackle. They were due to return today to reassess the situation.

A fire service spokeswoman said last night: ‘We are still attending many grass fires.

‘The fire at Nantgarw started at 11am. Firefighters from Whitchurch, Caerphilly, Ely and Pontypridd are at the scene.’

It costs on average £2,000 each time the fire service is called to a grass fire.

And the fire service was counting the cost after a spate of 10 fires between 2.46pm and 3.45pm yesterday – blamed on the increasingly- warm temperatures.

At 2.46pm firefighters were called to Billingham Crescent near Gurnos, Merthyr Tydfil, but this was just the first which meant a hectic hour for staff. They were then called to blazes at Sirhowy Garage, Sirhowy, Tredegar at 3pm; Penallta Road, Ystrad Mynach at 3.18pm; Lewis Street in Aberaman, Aberdare, at 3.32pm; a primary school in Dyffryn, Newport at 3.34pm; a cycle track in Blackmill at 3.35pm; Cwmsaerbren Street, Treherbert at 3.39pm; Bryntirion Mountain, Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash at 3.40pm; Blaencaerau Mountain, Maesteg, at 3.45pm and Treorchy Industrial Estate, Treorchy at 3.45pm.

There were also grass fires in Tredegar and Pontypridd.

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