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Spate of deliberate fires prompts safety warning


North Wales' Arson Reduction Team is urging people to stop and think about the consequences of grass fires following a spate of incidents in Blaenau Ffestiniog over the last week which have tied up valuable resources.

Since the 1st April firefighters have attended 14 deliberate fires in North Wales. Crews were called to four separate grass and gorse fires on and around farms in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area over the last three days.

Crews from Pwllheli, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog attended a large fire involving four acres of gorse and bracken at 8.59pm on Tuesday 7th April. It took over ten hours to bring the fire under control. Firefighters from Porthmadog were called to a fire behind a scrap yard in Blaenau Ffestiniog at 9.02pm on Tuesday 7th April. This fire had three different seats of fire and involved 30 square metres of grass. This incident was brought under control by 9.52pm.

A crew from Blaenau Ffestiniog attended a fire in Manod at 8.44pm on Monday 6th April where 20 square metres of gorse and bracken were set on fire deliberately. This incident was under control by 9.21pm.

Crews were called to another incident in Manod, Blaenau Ffestiniog at 3.38pm on Monday 6th April. Three seats of gorse and bracken were set on fire.

At 2.45pm on Monday 6th April crews were called to a fire involving 30 acres of gorse and bracken in Tair Gelli, Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Kevin Jones, Arson Reduction Manager, said: "The recent dry weather has increased the risk of rural fires and that it was disheartening to find that many of these incidents had either been ignited deliberately.

"Deliberate fires place tremendous pressure on resources, with our crews tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control, which in turn delays firefighters from attending life threatening incidents.

"I am appealing to parents to be more aware of the whereabouts of their children and impress upon them the important message that deliberate fires endanger lives.

"It could be you or a member of your family that requires our assistance and we may not be able to get to you as quickly or as easily as we would like because we have to deal with a deliberate fire."

Setting fires is a criminal offence and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents.

Extra patrols over the holidays will be undertaken by North Wales Police in areas which have had a number of deliberate fire-starting incidents in previous years.

You can follow our campaign to reduce deliberate fires on our social media by following #helpstopdeliberatefires and on our website

Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.

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