Up to 120 firefighters tackled three wildfires across the region yesterday. Crews were spread out across hillsides in Tanygrisiau, Trawsfynydd and near Betws-y-Coed as flames left gorse bushes and bracken charred and smoking.
It is believed that the blazes were caused by controlled burning which got out of hand. High temperatures of 16 degrees Celsius (60.8F) left the land tinder box dry which only helped the blazes blacken the ground while smoke drifted across acres of rural Gwynedd and Conwy.
Tim Owen, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Community Safety Manager for Wrexham and Flintshire, has been working at the scene of a gorse fire near Trawsfynydd. He said flames burned gorse, bracken and millennia grass as well and spread into a forest.
And on a third front, 20 more firefighters rushed to burning land at Llyn Elsi near Betws-y-Coed, making a total of 120 members of NWFRS out on the hillsides at once.
In late afternoon, NWFRS Area Manager Paul Scott said: “We are experiencing a high number of call-outs and our resources are currently under a significant amount of pressure.
“Several recent incidents that we have dealt with involved ‘controlled burns’, which have escalated and have required fire service intervention.
“These types of incidents are avoidable and I would urge that nobody attempts these burns without taking the necessary precautions.”
By 8pm, most of the crews had come down off the hillsides as the light faded.