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Bonfire warning after 7 hectare blaze

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firfighterMID AND WEST WALES Fire Service has warned about the dangers of controlled burning after a garden bonfi re in Burry Port spread out of control and set light to 7 hectares of gorse. 

Fire crews from Gorseinon, Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford were called on Monday evening (Apr 27) at around 6.15pm. Up to 26 fi refi ghters helped tackle the blaze, which happened to the rear of Gwscwm Road. Firefi ghters used hose reel jets, knapsacks and beaters to extinguish the fi re. Residents living nearby were evacuated by Police as a precaution.

Firefi ghters left the scene at 8.20pm, and re-attended the following morning to dampen down some hotspots. Fire Service Control dealt with over 70 repeat emergency calls about this incident as the fire was visible over a wide area and close to a main road. The cause of the fi e was identified as a garden bonfire which had spread out of control.

Arson Reduction Manager, Steve Richards said: “People need to be aware that fi res are unpredictable. Controlled burnings, such as a garden bonfi re should be small, adequately supervised, and at least 5 metres away from the property. A means of extinguishing the fi re should be immediately available, such as a hose pipe or buckets of water. “Accelerants such as petrol should never be used on a bonfi re. The fumes given off produce a cloud of explosive vapour that can’t be seen. The resulting explosion can cause serious injury.

“Controlled burning should only be undertaken between sunrise and sunset, and frequent controlled burning can lead to prosecution, due to the smoke being classed as a nuisance. “During sustained periods of dry weather, as we have been experiencing in recent weeks, it is inadvisable to set fi res at all.” There are more environmentally friendly ways of disposing garden waste or rubbish. However if you do have to carry out a controlled burn then the Fire Service should be contacted before lighting a fire and again once the fire has been extinguished on 0370 60 60 699 to ensure that a fire appliance is not sent to the address.

Keith Davies AM told The Herald: “After receiving high volumes of calls from witnesses and residents, the fire service were able to efficiently bring the fire under control; with police officers assisting in diverting people and cars. Along with Burry Port residents and everyone who witnessed or read about the fire, my thoughts are with local residents and I am very glad that nobody was hurt.

It does appear that this fi re was accidental. Burning rubbish in a garden quickly got out of control. We must bear the accidental nature in mind, especially considering the deliberate grass fi res lately across South Wales.” The AM added: “There is a wider public safety message here. We need to highlight the dangers of burning – it can quickly get out of control in dry weather and windy conditions.

Homeowners need to be vigilant when burning any garden waste or doing anything that can reasonably result in fires. Regulations must be followed and equipment on standby to bring unintended blaze consequences under control, especially when close to residential areas.The fire service do a good job of engaging local communities of fire risks and precautions like checking smoke alarms.

We could benefit as a community from increased community engagement – between the fire service, local schools and residents for example – raising awareness of the risks of home burning or otherwise.” Keith Davies AM continued: “On the wider point of grass fi res across South Wales – there have been instances of fi res on the mountains around the constituency and neighbouring areas. I re-iterate comments made by the Public Services Minister – those who deliberately start fi res are committing a criminal offence.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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