FIREFIGHTERS were called to dozens of gorse, grass and bracken fires in the north Wales region over the weekend as the controlled burning season came to an end.

Some of the blazes were deliberately started, others were accidental and several causes are unknown.

Many of the fires resulted in multiple calls to the fire service control room from concerned members of the public.

The spate of fires have also prompted the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service to re-iterate rules and warnings on controlled burning regarding the March 31 deadline.

Five thousand square metres of gorse was set alight accidentally at Porth Nefyn beach. Fire crews, from Nefyn, were called at 4-04pm on Sunday, March 31. Four beaters tackled the flames, which were under control about an hour later.

On Sunday, at Bronaber, Trawsfynydd, at 2.04pm, a 40-acre grass fire, cause unknown, saw 18 beaters tackle the blaze for about three hours. Fire crews from Dolgellau, Bala and Harlech were in attendance.

Another 150 acre fire happened at Bronaber, near the A470, at 1.12pm, Friday, March 29.

Firefighters from Barmouth, Dolgellau, Harlech, Porthmadog and Denbigh attended the incident which was brought under control by 6.10pm. It is believed it started as a controlled burn which then spread out of control.

One hundred square metres of gorse was on fire at 5.38pm, at Maentwrog on Saturday, March 3. One fire crew from Blaenau Ffestiniog, and four beaters extinguished the flames, and firefighters gave controlled burning advice to the land owner.

Appliances from Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Dolgellau, Corwen, Cerrigydrudion, Llanrwst, the Incident Command Unit from Rhyl and the High Volume Pump from Llandudno attended an incident in Betws y Coed.

The call was received at 4.16pm on Friday, March 29. The incident involved a one mile fire front and residents from a local property close to the incident were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

On Saturday, March 30, 30 square acres of gorse and bracken was reported on fire at 10.47am. A crew from Dolgellau was called out and three beaters extinguished the fire. The cause is unknown.

A 500 square metre area of gorse and bracken at Tan Y Grisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, was also on fire on Saturday. It was reported at 9.29pm and dealt with by 10.33pm.

Fire crews from Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog were called and nine beaters tackled the flames. It is believed the cause was deliberate.

Another 2000 square metre bracken and gorse fire burned for two hours from 7.57pm, at Llan Gwyfan, near Ruthin. there had been an earlier incident at the same location, from about 5.06pm until 7pm. A Ruthin fire crew was called out and six beaters controlled the flames, which had started when burning got out of control.

According to Welsh Government legislation farmer or landowners must not undertake controlled burns after March 31.

The fire service warns that ignoring the rules could result in prosecution and the possible loss of subsidies, not to mention the devastation of local wildlife habitats.

The three Welsh Fire and Rescue Services are now working together to raise awareness of the dangers associated with burning outside of the authorised periods (between November 1 and March 15 on low lands and October 1 and March 31 on uplands); and to educate land owners to reduce the risk of wildfire and protect life, land and property.

The fire services says the damage fire can cause to the surrounding landscape and the effect on habitats and wildlife can be "devastating.

A fire service spokesperson said: "Fire can seriously injure or kill wild animals, cause severe dehydration or malnourishment, and can rob them of their natural habitat.

"We are urging people to stop and think about the consequences of grass fires following a number of incidents which have tied up valuable resources.

"During drier periods, fires involving grass, bracken and heather can develop very quickly.

“We are urging visitors to the countryside to take extra care when they are out and about and reduce the risk of accidental fires.”