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Home » News & Events » 2019 » August » Enjoy the countryside but be aware of the risk of fire

Enjoy the countryside but be aware of the risk of fire

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Almost all of us enjoy warm, dry weather and it’s a great opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the fantastic countryside in our two counties.

But summer conditions bring dangers we should all be aware of.

Although there have been far fewer fires in the open than there were during last year’s heatwave, it’s still important to be vigilant and so Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is issuing important advice to help to keep people safe.

One way to help is to avoid taking BBQs on picnics as these were the cause of some of the 792 fires in the open that HWFRS attended in the 12 months to March 2019 – and of many others throughout the UK.

Station Commander Amy Bailey said: “When the weather is dry and warm, it is only natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends.

“But leave your BBQ at home as there is no completely safe way to dispose of it while out in the countryside and the consequences could be devastating.

“Last year’s major fire on the Malvern Hills which burned for many days was caused by a discarded disposable BBQ, risking life, property, wildlife, crops, meadows, moorland and woodland.

“Every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats but by following these few simple steps we can all help to reduce the chance of a wildfire.”

To enjoy the countryside safely, consider this advice:

  • extinguish cigarettes properly, don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows.
  • only use barbeques in suitable and safe areas. Never leave them unattended and make sure they are fully extinguished after use.
  • if you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a large wildfire incident.
  • don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible
  • remember that arson is a crime and will be prosecuted