PROPERTIES were prepared for evacuation at Bethesda, due to a large forest fire, and also at Carmel, near Caernarfon, where firefighters remain at a gorse fire reported to be a mile long.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service say there has been a spate of fires in the region over the last 12 hours which threatens the safety of properties and continue to tie up resources.

About 30 properties at Braichmelyn were affected and a rest centre was opened at the Plas Ffrancon Lesiure Centre.

Residents were advised to keep all windows and doors closed to stay safe.

North Wales Chronicle:

Roads closed in Bethesda on Tuesday due to gorse fire. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Six fire appliances and two off road vehicles are currently at the scene, including an incident command unit.

Firefighters are still at a gorse fire in Carmel, near Caernarfon.

Crews had been called to Mynydd Cilgwyn yesterday (Monday) around 6pm.

At its height, last night, over 40 firefighters were tackling the incident.

North Wales Police and local authority staff prepared approximately 15 nearby properties for evacuation as the fire is reported to be a mile-long. The incident was brought under control and kept under close surveillance but has since gathered pace this morning with three appliances and an off road vehicle currently at the scene.

Firefighters also dealt with a fire at Bangor Mountain yesterday, with crews called to the scene at 1600hrs.

North Wales Chronicle:

Wildfire between Y Fron and Carmel. Picture courtesy of Neil Mark Thomas (Twitter)

Four appliances attended and with this fire now under control it will continue to be kept under close observation.

Kevin Roberts, senior fire safety manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s too early to determine the exact cause of these fires but we are urging everybody to take extra care when they are out and about in the countryside to help reduce the risk of fire – especially during this exceptionally hot and dry weather.

“In these dry conditions, fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop extremely quickly, especially in raised winds, and fires can soon get out of control and spread to neighbouring properties or forestry, with the need for us then to attend to extinghuish them.

“So if you are out, it is more important than ever in these conditions to make sure that any smoking materials are discarded and extinguished properly. If you are out camping, again make sure that campfires or barbeques are fully extinguished. Better still, avoid open fires altogether in this dry period.

“We have received numerous notifications in relation to these fires and I would like to thank people for acting in a safe and responsible manner.

“We’d also ask people to keep well away from the areas affected to allow firefighters to tackle the fires and for their own safety.

“These fires place tremendous pressure on our resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time working to bring them under control. Quite often they also happen in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited.

“Remember - setting fires is a criminal offence and we are actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents – those found to be responsible will be prosecuted."

Ayone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”