North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have responded to questions raised about how the Llangollen mountain fires were handled.

Stuart Millington, senior operations said that when dealing with large scale grass and gorse fires, the service work in partnership with colleagues in National Resources Wales (NRW) and consider a variety of short, medium and long-term implications before implementing a tactical plan to resolve them.

He said: "This did include some work to cut fire breaks in strategic locations. Whilst we are grateful for the offer of help from local farmers, resources provided to implement this tactical plan and cut any fire-breaks were provided by our partners and were considered to be sufficient."

Addressing concerns over the lack of communication with residents, Mr Millington said: “During any large scale incident it is very difficult to maintain regular face to face updates for all the people who are effected, however during this period we did utilise social media, as well as radio and TV interviews to provide regular updates as to the progress of the incident.

“The scale of operations and the efforts required to bring this type of incident under control should not be underestimated and I would like to commend our firefighters for working extremely hard, for extended periods, during excessively high temperatures and over arduous terrain.

“Whilst I understand some of the frustrations that have been expressed, unfortunately disruption is an inevitable part of any large incident. Just to reiterate I am immensely proud of the crews from across North Wales who have worked tirelessly at this and other incidents throughout the summer period.”

Stewart Davies, former county councillor and mayor of Llangollen who is well-acquainted with the farming community has been critical of NRW’s prevention of farmers carrying out controlled fires on the grasslands, which can help to prevent more serious long-grass fires from occurring.

He said: "It’s obvious that the action plan didn’t work. It’s a pity that they don’t do proper controlled burning, which is the time honoured way of controlling the vegetation on the moors and mountains. More needs to be done and quickly."

Mr Davies was also critical of comments made by Dawn Beech of NRW, that cut backs to the vegetation and fire-breaks had been created to stop the fire spreading and wants to know when these actions were taken.

"If they had taken up the offers of help early on I would argue that half the mountain would not have been burned. Proper fire breaks as advocated by the farming community and the offer to do it would have stopped it in its tracks, regular yearly controlled burning as advocated by Conservation groups and farmers would have stopped the build-up of brash which allowed the fire to go deep."