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Monday, September 17, 2018

Fire chief answers questions about mountain blaze

* The fire rages on Llantysilio Mountain. 
The army makes a charge if it is called in to help fight mountain fires like the one which raged for weeks above Llangollen recently.
This was revealed by the fire chief when questioned on the issue by Denbighshire county councillor Mabon ap Gwynfor (pictured right) at the recent full council meeting in Ruthin.

A film released by Cllr ap Gwynfor’s Plaid Cymru party shows the member for Llandrillo quizzing Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith about the Llantysilio Mountain blaze.
He asks: “In Saddleworth the army was called in after three days. In this instance the army weren’t called in for assistance. Why was this the case? Who would make the call? And do you think that in future the army might be called in circumstances like this?”

Mr Smith replies: “A decision to bring in the army would be made if we felt that we did not have the resources or the manpower to adequately deal with the incident ourselves.
“Going back to the previous question, the army charge – they don’t do it for nothing, and I would need to be convinced that there was a sound economic set against the operational argument before we would do that.

“Clearly, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, in terms of Saddleworth Moor, took a different decision and that decision would be, first of all, the decision to ask would be one that would be taken jointly with the key stakeholders including the police, NRW (Natural Resources Wales) etc and then it would be very much a decision by the senior people in the army whether or not they could provide that resource.”  
Cllr ap Gwynfor said later: “At the full council meeting the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority were in front of us asking for money.
“I therefore had an opportunity to ask them about the Llantysilio Mountain incident.

“The question that many were asking was why weren't the army called in, like they were on Saddleworth Moor.

“I asked the Chief Fire Officer why weren't the army called in, and my understanding of the response was that it was because the army would have charged them!

“I thought they were there to provide a service during civil emergencies.

“I've sent the Ministry of Defence some Freedom of Information requests.”

* To see the film, go to:

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