A potential wildfire was averted this week at Coed Moel Famau thanks to public vigilance and swift action by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ranger team.

An abandoned campfire was left at the site, but a member of the public reported the smell of smoke to the AONB Ranger Team while walking through the forest on Tuesday (August 23).

The Rangers immediately investigated the report in a remote location within the forest and immediately doused the smouldering fire which appeared to have been covered over with stones and soil by the fire setters who presumably thought it was extinguished.

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The fire had become deep-seated in the leaf litter and reignited on Thursday morning. Fortunately, the AONB Rangers were again passing and checked on the fire site, only to discover that the fire had reignited.

The Leader: The smouldering fire at Coed Moel Famau (image: Denbighshire County Council)The smouldering fire at Coed Moel Famau (image: Denbighshire County Council)

This time the fire was attended by firefighters from Ruthin Fire Station who extinguished the fire and soaked the surrounding forest floor with several thousand litres of water.

Coed Moel Famau is managed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).  Glenn Williams, NRW Senior Officer in Land Management for North East Wales, said: “The financial and ecological impact of severe wildfires can be huge. Therefore we are glad that the swift actions of the AONB Team prevented the fire from spreading and escalating into something that had serious potential to become a catastrophic wildfire incident.”

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Tim Owen from North Wales Fire and Rescue said: “We are appealing to people to not set fires in the countryside. It is against the law to do so without the landowners permission and setting fires could be considered a deliberate act of arson which could result in a fine and criminal record”.

“Always call 999 to report any signs of fire.

“You should also avoid burning any garden waste in such dry weather but if you really must then please notify us beforehand on 01931 522006.”

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said: “This coming Bank Holiday weekend is forecast to be fine weather - the ground and vegetation is still tinder dry following the recent heatwaves - so residents and visitors to Denbighshire are asked to be extra careful and avoid setting fires in the countryside.”