Grassfire Fight "Isn't Over"

Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews says the fight against deliberate grassfires in Wales isn’t over.

However, since the grassfires Summit, he said “good progress” has been made:

“Quite a few arrests have been made this year, in fact more this year than the last four years according to the police.

“There are prosecutions pending, there are interviews underway, referrals going to the youth offending teams and so on.”

The Rhondda AM visited crews in Caerphilly and Tonypandy to thank them for their work on Wednesday morning.

But he said more still needs to be done:

“There’s more we can do in the future and we’re working closely with the police and fire service.

“I’m sure sadly we haven’t seen the end of this and we will see more.

“What we do know is that a lot of the fires start in March and April when the undergrowth is drier.

“We want people in the community, if they have any knowledge, to pass that on.”

Emma Bushell, Station Manager in the Fire Crime Department at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said teams are working hard to reach out and encourage locals to help them:

“We are making progress, but it’s an historic problem that happens year on year.

“Once this time of year starts and sap rises, grass becomes wet and difficult to set fire to.

“Until the beginning of August, we don’t have many grassfires, problems usually start again around September or October.”