A NEW wildfire plan has been launched to benefit the Blorenge valley and to help fire crews attend incidents more quickly.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) in partnership with the Blaenavon Partnership, Forgotten Landscapes Scheme, Torfaen council and Gwent Police has developed the Blaenavon Region Wildfire plan as part of its community initiative to reduce wildfires in the area.

It also engages landowners, commoners and the wider community on the impact and economical cost of wildfires.

The plan was launched at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre on Thursday.

It will be placed in the cabs of SWFRS appliances based in Cwmbran, Blaenavon and Ebbw Vale stations and includes Ordance Survey map grids, which highlight fire breaks and related gates.

Details also include the size of vehicle that will be permitted through the gates, ensuring that the firefighter crews can safely navigate the Blorenge when tackling wildfire incidents.

The Head of Operations for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Dewi Rose, said: “The economic cost of wildfires is an enormous burden on communities, including the direct costs associated with firefighting and securing wildfires, as well as the loss of income for farming and forestry activities.

“We have been working with our partner organisations to produce the wildfire plan for the Blaenavon region in the hope that this will secure the future of such an outstanding and beautiful area of Wales.”

Wildfires are most common during March and April, with SWFRS working with communities to raise awareness and reduce risk.

The Forgotten Landscape Partnership commons officer, Alvin Nicholas, said: “Wildfires are threats that need to be addressed. This partnership will allow the emergency services, the Blaenavon Partnership and other stakeholders to communicate effectively on fire-related issues in and around the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.

“Our aim is to ensure that this globally important landscape meets the needs of the present generation whilst being conserved for future generations.”

Members of the public can download the SWFRS Fire Crime app – available on both iPhone and Android smartphones – where they can take pictures of grass fires and send them to the Ssrvice, as well as reporting fly tipping.

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