North Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended a special meeting of Denbighshire Council’s communities scrutiny committee held at Llangollen today (Wednesday 20th March) looking at the Llantysilio mountain fire which occurred last summer.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Richard Fairhead said: “North Wales Fire and Rescue Service very much welcomed the opportunity to take part in the review of the Llantyslio mountain fire in the summer of 2018 along with all the other stakeholders taking part.
“We had the opportunity to explain in detail what the incident involved from our perspective in terms of the resources deployed, the equipment used, the challenges presented, the communications we undertook and then following internal and external debriefs, the learning from this incident, both as a single agency and in terms of multi-agency learning.
“There is no question that this was a challenging incident for us in terms of the unprecedented hot weather conditions, the unpredictable terrain, the vast geography, the specific nature of the fire itself, ensuring a water supply, the implications of large volumes of smoke, the demand on our resources and the need to communicate widely with the public and media, as well as with our partner organisations.
“Under these challenging circumstances I firmly believe that our response to the incident was not only a professional one but at times the commitment from our crews, as well as from their primary employers in the case of our retained firefighters, went over and above what we would normally expect from them, for which we were extremely grateful.
“It is positive to note that extensive debriefs following all the wildfires we experienced last summer have led to a number of learning recommendations which will add to our ability to tackle such incidents in future.
“From our perspective as a fire and rescue service we explained today that following internal and external debriefs, there have been six main areas of focus in relation to last summer’s wildfires - these range from consistency with command and control, and standardisation of systems for supporting the incident commander, to a review of capacity of our resources, the benefits of joint working and not least the implications on our staff, their families and their primary employers.
“These are all points that will add to our ability to tackle such incidents in future.”