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Forestry fire near Rhos, Llandysul, believed to have been started deliberately

ON Sunday, 31st May 2020 at 08:57pm, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) were called to a forestry fire near Rhos, Llandysul. Crews from Llandysul, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen and Tumble have attended this incident.

Approximately 210 hectares of various sized spruce trees and shrubland have been destroyed by the fire.

The resources deployed to fight the fire have included a helicopter, drone, 45mm jets, five hose reel jets, a fogging unit, wildfire blowers and beaters.

The main fire has been extinguished, however, due to the dry conditions, there are a number of local hotspots that remain, and the affected land will continue to smoulder for several days.

A crew from Llandysul is currently at the scene damping down hotspots and inspecting the area.

The fire is believed to have been lit deliberately and is being investigated by the Police and Fire Service.

Station Manager Richard Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager for MAWWFRS, said:

“Unfortunately, we have seen far too many large wildfires already this year. Not only do they have a significant ecological and financial impact, but also put a strain on our fire and rescue resources.

For the firefighters, they are very difficult to deal with due to terrain and accessibility. The extreme temperatures and longer travel distances carrying equipment make working conditions even harder.

This incident has seen multiple crews detained over several days meaning appliances must travel from further afield to attend other emergencies in the area. This is all at a time that we are trying to limit exposure between crews during the pandemic phase.

At this incident, we have again seen various ages of forestry, habitats and wildlife destroyed as a consequence of fire which is suspected to have been started deliberately.”

Sergeant Delme Jones, of the local neighbourhood policing team, Dyfed-Powys Police, said:

“Fires such as this pose a real threat to community safety. Fires are unpredictable – this one alone has damaged land the size of 400 football pitches – and also have a devastating environmental impact, damaging both wildlife and the trees themselves, some which take up to 50 years to fully mature.

“The Neighbourhood Policing Team is working closely with the fire to investigate this fire and identify those responsible. Both agencies will be in the local community over the coming days to make enquiries and offer reassurance and advice.”

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Dyfed-Powys Police are appealing to anybody who may have any information regarding this incident to contact police online: bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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