FIREFIGHTERS tackled a suspected "deliberate" mountain fire in Llangollen on Friday night.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service (NWFRS) sent three crews from Llangollen, Chirk and Johnstown at 9.58pm due to the large gorse and bracken blaze and were in attendance until after midnight.

The fire has affected an area of 50,000 square metres, or five hectares.

Two crews from Wrexham and Corwen were sent to provide relief in the early hours of Saturday morning and one crew remains at the scene to monitor the fire until it burns out.

Richard Fairhead, NWFRS assistant chief fire officer,  said the fire service "will not tolerate deliberate grass and mountain fires," which tie up significant emergency resources and destroy wildlife: “I urge people to really stop and think about the consequences of gorse fires," he said.

“As we have seen in the past, such fires place tremendous pressure on resources, with our crews being committed for long periods of time trying to bring them under control, which in turn delays firefighters from attending life threatening incidents elsewhere.

“We will not tolerate deliberate grass and mountain fires - not only do they lead to the destruction of the mountainside and wildlife, but they also put lives at risk whilst our fire crews are dealing with needlessly set fires.

“I would urge members of the public to please come forward if they have any information as to how the fire started or if they witnessed any suspicious activity relating to the incident."

Mr Fairhead also asked the public to be careful when using fire near grassy areas, particularly after the warm weather in recent days. He said: “Fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop extremely quickly, especially in dry conditions and raised winds, and fires can soon get out of control and spread to neighbouring properties or forestry.

“So if you are out and about, please make sure that any smoking materials are discarded and extinguished properly and that any campfires or barbeques are fully extinguished.

“We’d also ask people to keep well away from the area affected to allow firefighters to monitor the fire, and for their own safety.”

Anyone with information relating to this fire should contact North Wales Police on 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.