Seen from above, the scale of the devastation caused by grass fires is shocking

Seen from above, the scale of the devastation caused by grass fires is shocking

28 March 2017

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UK —  This footage filmed from a drone shows the scale of the destruction caused by grass fires which came dangerously close to homes.

It shows hectare after hectare of mountainside left black and charred.

Fire crews attended more than 70 grass fires in the space of 48 hours which could have “cost people’s lives”.

 South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ( SWFRS ) said one fire spread to cover a size equivalent to more than 160 rugby pitches.

SWFRS group manager Vaughan Jenkins said they received 480 calls in total from 4pm on Saturday to 4pm on Sunday, with more than 400 relating to fires.

Mr Jenkins added that they received 89 calls to one incident, “a massive strain” on their resources.

He Jenkins said: “One of the biggest issues is the drain it puts on our resources. If someone has a house fire or if there is a road traffic collision, then it will mean a delay in our response time.

“We have got a lot of education at the moment to reduce them but that still needs to get through.

“I’d say to those who lit the fire, or knew who did, to think about all of the consequences of what you’re doing.

“It’s destroying the landscape and the wildlife – and it could cost people’s lives because of the delays it causes.”

These pictures show the extent of the fires and how close they came to people’s homes:

 Crews were forced to withdraw from one incident in Treorchy which had spread to around 166 hectares, roughly the size of 160 international rugby pitches, after high winds made it too dangerous.

One fire in the Rhondda which came dangerously close to houses was deliberately set, according to the fire service.

Crews were called to the scene on Penrhys at 5.20pm, where around 10 hectares were “well alight”.

A SWFRS spokeswoman said the fire was deliberate and police officers will be patrolling the area.

A message sent by crews at around 6.30pm said they were being hampered by high winds and the left flank of the fire was approaching houses.

 South Wales Police said on Monday that “Grass fires put lives and property at risk and cause huge damage to our beautiful countryside.”

Please pass on any info about grass fires in your community to us on 101/999 or to @Wales_CS @SWFireandRescue @SWFRS_FireCrime 3/3
— South Wales Police (@swpolice) March 27, 2017

South Wales Police will patrol some of the areas affected by the fires.

 Another blaze in Tonypandy which covered 50 hectares was also set on purpose, according to the fire service.

Fire crews were called to the “well alight” grass fire in Tonypandy at 6.49pm, with crews creating a fire break to stop the spread of the fire which was near the Tonypandy Community College.

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