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Safety reminder following spate of heath fires


Date: 25th May, 2018

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with partners to remind people to take care around heathland.

The recent spell of dry weather has seen an increase in heath fires and, with the Bank Holiday and half term week approaching, it is likely that more people will be out and about enjoying the countryside.

The Service is now highlighting the potential risks of wildfire, as are colleagues in Dorset Police, the Forestry Commission and Dorset County Council.

Andy Elliott, UK Wildfire Tactical Advisor, said: “Every year seems to be a little dryer and warmer, and this is leading to an increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in our countryside and urban fringes. The public can help us greatly by reporting fires as quickly as possible and giving us an accurate address or location. It is also important that they move to a place of safety as quickly as possible.”

He added: “Every year, wildfire destroys thousands of acres of countryside, and although some are started deliberately, most of them are due to carelessness. We are therefore reminding everyone to take particular care at this time of the year as the weather gets warmer. It’s 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.”

Please follow these top tips to keep heathland fire safe:

Landowners and land managers are also advised, where possible, to be prepared for fires and ensure that fire breaks are cut and well maintained, with any cut grasses and vegetation removed from the site.

People are also warned to be extra cautious when lighting barbecues and bonfires:

More information can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/heath-fires

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