Fire service under 'tremendous pressure' after spate of wildfires

Fire chiefs in North Wales have warned the public to take extra care in the sweltering heat after a spate of wildfires placed "tremendous pressure" on their resources.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said about 30 homes in Bethesda, Bangor, were evacuated on Tuesday morning due to a nearby forest blaze.

Six fire appliances and two off-road vehicles are at the scene, including an incident command unit.

Residents not being evacuated have been advised to keep all windows and doors closed.

North Wales Police said they were assisting the fire service.

Road closures are in place and motorists are being urged to avoid the area.

On Monday evening, 15 homes were evacuated as crews tackled a gorse fire in Carmel, near Caernarfon.

Four people were taken to a rest centre set up by Gwynedd Council, while others went to stay with family and friends.

More than 40 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control overnight but three appliances remain at the scene as the incident flared up again on Tuesday.

Firefighters were also called out to a blaze at Bangor Mountain at 4pm on Monday. Four appliances were needed to contain it and the site is being monitored.

Kevin Roberts, senior fire safety manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It's too early to determine the exact cause of these fires but we are urging everybody to take extra care when they are out and about in the countryside to help reduce the risk of fire - especially during this exceptionally hot and dry weather.

"In these dry conditions, fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop extremely quickly, especially in raised winds, and fires can soon get out of control and spread to neighbouring properties or forestry, with the need for us then to attend to extinguish them.

"These fires place tremendous pressure on our resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time working to bring them under control. Quite often they also happen in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited.

"Remember, setting fires is a criminal offence and we are actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents. Those found to be responsible will be prosecuted."

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