A range of North Wales organisations will join forces this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend to raise awareness of the damage that wildfires can cause to some of our most iconic upland landscapes.
On 27-28 August, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Officers will be joined by colleagues from North Wales Fire and Rescue, North Wales Police and local authorities to engage with members of the public as part of the arson prevention campaign.
This follows this summer’s record-breaking high temperatures and the fire in the summer of 2018 that lasted for six weeks and engulfed over 250ha of Llantysilio Mountain, part of the Ruabon/Llantysilio Mountains and Minera Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Wildfire has since been officially recognised as a major UK hazard, with its inclusion in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies. The annual cost of fighting wildfires in the UK is £55 million.
Upland wildfires can be caused by the discarding of cigarettes or use of disposable barbeques, deliberate arson, discarded glass/bottles which then magnify the heat of the sun and land management techniques such as prescribed moor burning getting out of control or burning brash too close to moorland vegetation.
Lyndsey Rawlinson, NRW Head of Operations North East, said:
“The financial and ecological impact of severe wildfires can be huge. A range of preventative measures are required – one of them is to raise awareness of fire risk among our local communities and members of the public who visit the moors.
“Action to prevent wildfires from happening is a much better way to manage the issue, for financial reason, as firefighting and post fire regeneration costs can be significant, and to protect our environment from being destroyed by fires.
“By working together with our public services in events such as this one, we hope to prevent large scale wildfires and the damage they cause to our environment and livelihoods.”
Tim Owen, Wildfire Lead at North Wales Fire and Rescue, said:
“This initiative is another great way of working in partnership with our colleagues at Natural Resources Wales and North Wales Police.
“Our staff will be attending Llantysilio and Ruabon mountains this weekend with colleagues from the other organisations to talk with members of the public who are out and about visiting the area. We hope that by engaging with them we will be able to educate them about how they can help to prevent wildfires on the mountain and reduce the number of incidents that we attend especially during the hot weather.”
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