A CONSERVATION role is to be reinstated to stop another fire like the Llantysilio Mountain blaze from happening again.

Last summer gorse and heather on the hills around the Horseshoe Pass burned for three months.

But councillors have heard that spending cuts meant a staff member who could have stopped the fire from spreading was not in place.

The fire which started during last year’s record breaking summer lasted from July 19 until September 25.

290 hectares of land on the Horseshoe Pass was damaged by the fire.

Members of Denbighshire’s communities scrutiny committee meeting today heard that a lack of land management made the fire worse than it should have been.

The report prepared by the committee highlighted practices like small controlled fires and regular mowing that could help prevent future blazes.

As part of its recommendations the committee called for a moorland field officer to be appointed to work with farmers to carry out land management in the area.

The report noted that there had been a moorland field officer who identified overgrown areas and had vegetation that was a fire risk removed.

However funding for this job ended in 2012 and no replacement was found.

Llandrillo/Cynwyd county councillor, Mabon ap Gwynfor, welcomed the idea of bringing back the officer.

He said: “It’s obvious that there are cuts that have happened over the years. One of those cut was the moorland field officer that we had previously. “Because of these cuts is one of the reasons we had the fire.

“Accepting that we need such an  officer I am keen that authorities commit to developing such a role. ”

Denbighshire’s head of highways and environment, Tony Ward said: “From the council’s perspective we are fully committed to working with our partners to find a solution to funding and creating that post. Denbighshire is happy to host the post. We did have a similar post in the past so we are familiar with the role and the type of work that needs to be done. Denbighshire will have to contribute financially as well and we will do that and we’ll come to an agreement with our partners.”

Bethan Beech, Denbighshire team leader for Natural Resources Wales, said: “We are very supportive of the recommendations of the report and in particular the need to appoint a moorland officer. As an organisation we are fully supportive of that.”