Blaenau Ffestiniog mountain fire: About 20 homes evacuated

Chris McPhail took this image of the fire from the centre of Blaenau FfestiniogImage copyright

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The alarm was raised just before 20:30 on Monday

Families in about 20 properties have been evacuated from their homes as fire crews tackle a large mountain blaze.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it had 30 firefighters at Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.

One eyewitness said the hillside above the town looked “like a volcano”.

The alarm was raised just before 20:30 BST on Monday, with residents asked to leave the area in the early hours of Tuesday.

BBC Wales employee Laura Raymond said she was woken by firefighters “smashing open” fire hydrants at about 03:00.

“The hill was literally glowing from behind,” she said.

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About 30 firefighters have been tackling the blaze overnight

The blaze is thought to have started behind quarry workings in an area overlooking the town called Garreg Ddu – Black Rock.

“Black Rock is like a huge gigantic lump of coal, with burning embers,” said Ms Raymond.

“We’ve been well looked after and the crews have done an amazing job. We’re just so thankful because the crews have directed it away from the houses.”

Police have closed part of the Church Street through the town as fire crews continue to tackle the flames.

Teams from Dolgellau, Porthmadog, Blaenau, Harlech, Nefyn and Johnstown are at the scene, with an aerial platform called in from Bangor.

Ms Raymond said she had been told it was safe to return home, but said she was staying at a local cafe until smoke dissipates.

“The police have all been wearing their face masks because the smoke is acrid,” she added.

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