300 grass firecalls in just one day for service

300 grass firecalls in just one day for service

10 April 2007

published by icwales.icnetwork.co.uk

Wales, UK — Firefighters received up to 300 calls about grass fires yesterday alone – with hundreds more over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Today, they were still tackling a deliberate mountain blaze in Deri near Bargoed, which broke out last night spreading over more than 12 acres, and a large blaze in Pontygwaith, Rhondda, which broke out early today.

A South Wales Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: ‘We’ve continued to be busy through the night with grass fires all over the South Wales area.

‘We’ve had around 200 or 300 calls. We have been very busy all across the Easter weekend.’

As temperatures soared at the weekend, fire crews were busy dealing with the hundreds of grass, gorse and forest fires across South Wales, costing the service tens of thousands ofpounds.

It is thought the majority were started deliberately.

Many of yesterday’s gorse fires centred around the Rhondda area and a Forestry Commission helicopter was being used to drop water on the flames.

Fire crews said that as well as being an enormous drain on resources, the fires have a devastating affect on the environment.

The fire service has seen their calls increase tenfold since the start of April, as they battle the increasing number of grass fires.

Crews had 3,000 calls, many to deal with grass fires, during the first six days of April.

It costs on average £2,000 each time the fire service is called to a grass fire, and with hundreds of calls over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the cost will have run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Firefighters have appealed to youngsters, who they believe are largely responsible for setting the fires, not to do so.

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