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Take care around heathland this weekend

Date: 30th August, 2019

As we enter the last weekend of the school summer holidays, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is reminding people to take care around heathland.

Yesterday (29 August), the Service dealt with two incidents involving heath on fire. The first, at Ham Common, Hamworthy, led to heat damaging five caravans at the adjacent Rockley Park caravan park; the second was at East Overcliff, Bournemouth, and was witnessed by the crowds gathered for Bournemouth Air Festival.

Group Manager Steve Waller said: “Heath fires require multiple crews to tackle them, and they can spread rapidly, as we saw at Rockley Park. When the weather is dry and warm, the risks increase.

“This weekend will see thousands of people out and about for the end of the school holidays and to watch the Air Festival – we would therefore ask everyone to take extra care when using portable barbecues, disposing of cigarettes and matches, or having any kind of camp fire. Please also keep an eye out for anyone messing around with fire and report it immediately if you do see something suspicious.”

Other top tips from the Service for preventing fire outdoors include:

More advice can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-outdoors

NB: The fire at Ham Common is believed to have started accidentally due to discarded smoking materials. The fire at East Overcliff is thought to have been deliberate and anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101.

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