A huge wildfire has broken out across a rural mountain in Wales, with fire fighters watching the inferno throughout this afternoon before retreating due to “hazardous terrain and darkness”. The blaze tore across Foel Dduarth in Snowdonia, and was reportedly so large it could seen from northern Anglesey.
North Wales Fire and Rescue said in a statement shortly after 9pm that crews had been in attendance and aware of the fire in the open in Abregwyngregyn since 3pm.
It added that “crews will re-attend in the early hours to reinspect”.
Farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, in his capacity as chairman of a local graziers’ association, rushed to the scene after being alerted to the fire.
He told NorthWalesLive: “It looks like something you would see in the Lord of the Rings, it’s so big and fast-moving.
“The whole of the mountain has gone, it’s completely devastated.
“In all my years I’ve never seen a fire move so fast. It’s just unbelievable. We’ll have to wait until the morning to find out if it’s spread to other mountains nearby.”
Only once the blaze is extinguished will the fire service begin investigating the potential cause.
Mr Jones commented: “The mountain is in an SSSI [Site of Special Scientific Interest], so burning is not allowed there. It may have been an accident, arson or an act of God.
“An accident, such as a discarded cigarette, is another possibility, as the area is heavily walked. But the mountains are so wet at this time of year it’s hard to see how it could have caught hold.”
Footage of the fire up close by the Llanfairfechan-based farmer shows fierce flames tearing through wild bushes near to a mountain dirt track.
Foel Dduarth, situated near Conwy Bay, sits at around 450 metres tall, and forms part of a hiking route in the scenic area.
Dozens of Carneddau ponies – an ancient breed unique to the area – were reportedly returned to the mountain last night, following a health check by local farmers.
Mr Jones believes they are unlikely to be harmed by the blaze, unless they become trapped in a pocket of fire.