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Last Updated: Monday, 21 April, 2003, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
Rain helps forest fire battle
Helicopter tackles forest fire
Scotland is still waiting for relief
Downpours have helped dampen fires in scrubland in Wales, but Scottish firefighters are still waiting for relief.

Remaining blazes in south Wales were put out with the help of the rain.

Some areas were still affected by fire in mid-Wales, but most fires across the principality are now said to be under control.

Rain is likely to move north during Monday according to forecasters, although Scotland had a dry night on Sunday as firefighters continued to battle the flames.

A spokeswoman for South Wales Fire Service said: "It's raining! The fires are all out and we are glad. We've been horrendously busy."

Firefighters have been working long periods in torrid and exhausting conditions
Hugh Henny
Highland and Islands Fire Brigade
Senior divisional officer for Gwent and South Wales Fire Service Vince Armstrong said: "Any showers are going to help a little but we need quite a downpour to actually assist us in any major way."

Four people questioned about the fires have been released after being eliminated from police inquiries.

A spokeswoman for Mid and West Wales Fire Service said despite continuing to wait for the arrival of the rain and grass fires continuing to burn but all the major blazes are now under control.

Firefighters across the UK have been battling the fires over the weekend after a sustained period of dry weather created blaze conditions.

High winds have fanned the flames.

But with rain expected later on Monday, Scotland's large fires could also soon be over.

Firefighters' strain

A blaze at Acharacle on the west coast has covered 35 square kilometres and at one stage had a 10-mile long fire wall. It was monitored by two crews overnight, with five more engines and a helicopter keeping it under control on Monday.

Highland and Islands Fire Brigade's temporary assistant forecaster Hugh Henny said: "These fires have put a great deal of strain on our resources and firefighters who have been working long periods in torrid and exhausting conditions."

Firefighters were also tackling blazes at Barvas on the Isle of Lewis.

One fire engine is monitoring the blaze which has now, "significantly reduced" a spokeswoman said.

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