Swansea residents have been left lost for words after spotting thick flames and huge plumes of smoke billowing across the sky twice in just two days. A large fire raged across grassland at Cefn Bryn in Gower on March 21, then a second blaze was reported at Kilvey Hill, St Thomas on March 22.
Plus, there was also a huge wildfire in Abertridwr, Caerphilly on March 21. To find out about that incident, go here.
Fire crews estimate that the fire at Cefn Bryn spread to 10 hectares of grassland, equivalent to the size of 10 rugby pitches, whilst the blaze at Kilvey Hill burned approximately four hectares of land. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it believed both fires were started deliberately. You can get more Swansea news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.
Shocking photos from the fire at Kilvey Hill show bright flames and thick smoke spreading across the dark night sky and locals described their fears for what could have happened to nearby houses and wildlife. South Wales Police is investigating both incidents and appealing for anyone with information to contact it, quoting reference 2200 09 38 27 for the fire at Cefn Bryn, and 2200 09 50 64 for the fire at Kilvey Hill.
Commenting on the fire at Cefn Bryn, a spokesperson for the fire service said: “On Monday, March 21, at 7.51pm, firefighters from Reynoldston attended a grass fire in Cefn Bryn, Gower. Approximately 10 hectares of grass was alight. Firefighters fought the fire using beaters, blowers and a fogging unit. The fire was extinguished at around 12am. The fire is believed to have been lit deliberately and reported to South Wales Police.
“Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service urges members of the public, who may have information that could assist the police in their investigation, to contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org/. Alternatively, call the Police on 101.”
A spokesperson for South Wales Police added: “South Wales Police was called just before 12.10am, Tuesday, March 22, by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service following reports of around 10 hectares of grass being alight in Cefn Bryn, Gower. Anyone who may have information on the grass fire, that could assist officers in their investigation, should contact South Wales Police quoting occurrence number 2200 09 38 27.”
‘The fire last night was the worst I’ve seen it up there’
Regarding the fire at Kilvey Hill, a spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 7.07pm on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, joint fire control received the first call of a grass fire on Kilvey Hill, St Thomas, Swansea. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service deployed a crew from Swansea Central station to the fire, that was burning approximately four hectares of land. Firefighters extinguished the fire using beaters, a backpack sprayer and a leaf blower. The fire service left the incident at 9.58pm.”
Police sergeant Terri Harrison, currently serving in the fire service’s arson reduction team added: “We believe this fire was lit deliberately and the details of this incident have been passed on to the Police. Arson is a crime. If anybody has information about this incident that could assist the Police in their investigation, they can report it to CrimeStoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111. They can also call the Police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 2200 09 50 64. In an emergency, always call 999.
“Deliberate grass fires are dangerous, unpredictable and can quickly spread out of control. They have a number of detrimental impacts on our communities. For the people who live near a grass fire, it can affect breathing, irritate skin and eyes, and cause chest pains. For firefighters, they must battle the fires in dangerous and challenging conditions. And, for our environment, a deliberate grass fire can severely damage wildlife and their habitat.”
A spokesperson for South Wales Police added: “South Wales Police was called at 10pm last night, Tuesday March 22, by Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service following reports of around four hectares of grass being alight on Kilvey Hill, St Thomas. Anyone who may have information on the grass fire, that could assist officers in their investigation, should contact South Wales Police quoting occurrence number 2200 09 50 64.”
Several residents told WalesOnline they’d noticed fires at Kilvey Hill previously but one resident said the fire on March 22 was the largest she’d seen.
Plasmarl resident Joanna Berry said: “As soon as I got outside [to have a look at what was happening], all I could see was the flames! It was the worst I’ve seen it up there, it was blowing across to St Thomas! It was worrying, for the houses and for the wildlife as well.”
Fellow local resident Adina Percival added: “The council needs to put some sort of surveillance up there as a deterrent as this is becoming too often an occurrence now sadly! There is currently no deterrent in place on the common-land areas of Swansea to stop this from happening over and over again.”
Do you think people setting fires is becoming an issue in Swansea? Share your thoughts in thecomments.
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