Fire service warns of risk of wild fires
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is issuing important safety advice, as fire crews have attended a number of incidents involving fires in the open in the last week.
Station Commander Steve Andrews said: "We have been experiencing some dry, warm weather and it is only natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends but it is also important to stay fire aware when out and about, as every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats."
He continued "With the hot weather set to continue, we are asking the public to be vigilant and by following these few simple steps we can all help to reduce the chance of a wildfire."
- Extinguish cigarettes properly, don't throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows.
- Take your rubbish with you, especially glass bottles, which can magnify the sun's rays and start a fire as well as hurt people and animals.
- Avoid open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas.
- 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.
- Landowners and Land Managers are also advised, where possible, to ensure that fire breaks are cut and well maintained with any cut grasses and vegetation removed from the site.
- Remember that arson is a crime and will be prosecuted.
We would also ask people to be extra cautious when lighting barbeques and bonfires. If you must have an open fire:
- Only use barbeques in suitable and safe areas, never leave them unattended.
- Never use petrol, it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control. Only use approved lighting fuels.
- Make sure it is downwind and at least 10 metres away from any buildings or structures.
- Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
- Never leave fires unattended and make sure they are fully extinguished after use.