A DEBATE about the emergency response and consequences of the Llantysilio fire that devastated 60 acres of mountainside last summer will be held next week.

The scrutiny meeting, arranged by Denbighshire County Council, will hear evidence from a range of authorities involved in managing the blaze that raged for 30 days, including North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, North Wales Police, Denbighshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales, as well as representatives of nearby communities who were affected.

As well as the operational response to the fire, the committee will hear about how the moorland is currently managed.

Emergency service and NRW chiefs were criticised by nearby residents and business owners soon after the blaze, who said it could have been extinguished within 10 days had the authorities been willing to accept emergency support from nearby farmers.

Cllr Huw Williams, chair of the communities scrutiny committee, said the authorities in attendance "will have considered their own responses" ahead of the meeting, which aims to "provide a clear picture of how each organisation responded".

The Leader:

Cllr Williams said: “This is a special meeting with the aim of understanding all the circumstances and issues around the fire and the response of the various agencies.

“We feel that the fire was significant in terms of size and the length of time it was active, as well as the impact on the local community, and warranted a special scrutiny meeting to debate these issues.

“Due to the nature of the terrain and the special site of scientific interest designation, there were a number of agencies involved in the response to the fires. Organisations will have considered their own responses but this is about bringing people together for a wider debate.

"Discussions will provide a clear picture of how each organisation responded, what worked well and what did not work as well. It will also help us learn any lessons and whether we need to amend existing response protocols.

Cllr Williams added: “We recognise that the fire had an impact on local residents and motorists using the Horseshoe Pass and we will be discussing the concerns and issues raised by local people at the meeting”.

The meeting will be held at Llangollen Pavilion on Wednesday, March 20.

A report will be drawn up after the meeting and will be presented at a later date.