Upland common blaze sparks fire warning from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

The warning comes after today’s battle with a large heathland blaze on Manor Mawr Common, near Penderyn located between Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Brecon Beacons.  Today’s exceptionally warm weather and highwinds saw the fire damage over 500 hectares of forestry and upland common and with the similar weather conditions predicted over the next few weeks, the Brecon Beacons National Park could be facing a dangerous fire period warned Judith Harvey, Western Area Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.

Judith Harvey went on to say:  “Although this morning’s fire is now under control, thanks to the use of a helicopter and specialist equipment from South Wales Fire Brigade – we are still battling another fire between Trapp and Brynaman.  We are devastated at the impact these latest fires have had on the uplands ecology and the landscape.  This time of year is particularly sensitive for our upland commons – not only is this the end of lambing season but it’s also the time of year for ground nesting birds.  Today we have seen firsthand just how bad it gets with many mammals, small insects and birds completely wiped out.”

“This exceptionally warm, dry weather and high winds are quickly drying out our vegetation and upland commons which means it becomes very flammable and very dangerous especially when the conditions are windy.  Small fires can quickly get out of control and we are urging people to be extra vigilant whilst this weather looks set to continue. 

“Our Wardens will be patrolling our high risk areas over all the Bank Holidays advising people of the increased risk and following up the work they have already done in the last few days erecting warning signs highlighting the increased risk of fire. 

“We know that people will be making the most of the next few weeks celebrating Easter, the Royal Wedding and the holiday season and we want them to enjoy themselves but all they need to do is take a few simple precautions to make sure that they and the environment around them are kept safe from harm’s way. 

“We are urging people not to light BBQs and campfires in open countryside and not to release or light any Chinese lanterns.  People also need to think responsibly about how they dispose of cigarette butts, lighters, glass bottles and matches.  

“If anyone does see a fire or someone acting irresponsibly, they should report it quickly to the fire service by phoning 999 so that they can take appropriate action.”