Fire crews were called to a 60-hectare grass fire last week in Talgarth.

At 11.27am on Thursday, April 20, crews from Talgarth, Rhayader and Crickhowell were called to the incident.

Approximately 60 hectares of land and gorse was affected by the fire, as crews used fire beaters and knapsacks to control and extinguish the fire. 

As the fire travelled upwards towards the top of the mountain, access for the crews became unsafe and unpractical, therefore it was decided to use a helicopter to assist in the firefighting efforts. 

The use of the helicopter relieved the crews of their duties at this incident and allowed for them to return to their home stations and to respond to other incidents. It also stopped the fire from reaching and potentially destroying an ancient peat bog at the top of the mountain. Peat bogs take thousands of years to form and they play a crucial role in carbon capture, as well as providing habitats for a variety of plants and wildlife. 

The final crew members left the scene at 8.35pm.

The cause of this grass fire is believed to be deliberate, due to a planned burn getting out of control.

When the weather is dry it is easy for fires to spread. These fires are often in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited - should the fire get out of control, this can place tremendous pressure on resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control. These fires can put homes, livestock and the lives of crews and residents at risk as firefighters are kept from attending genuine emergencies.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging all members of the public to inform the Service of any planned burns, regardless of its size.

Please follow the guidelines below if you are planning a controlled burn:

• Ensure you have informed the Fire and Rescue Service before igniting a fire

• Ensure you have sufficient people and equipment to control the fire

• Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to property, roads, and wildlife

• If a fire gets out of control, contact the fire and rescue service immediately giving details of location and access

• Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check next day to ensure it has not reignited