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Latest Incidents

20th May, 2019 - 15:52: At 15:52 Dorset and Wiltshire Control received a call for a chip pan f...Read more

20th May, 2019 - 13:51: At 1351 today Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Control received a call to a...Read more

20th May, 2019 - 08:07: Just after 8 o'clock this morning Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Control ...Read more

20th May, 2019 - 00.02am: One fire crew from Corsham have attended reports of a hedgerow on fire...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 06.48pm: Fire crews from Calne and Chippenham have attended a fire involving an...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 06.24pm: Fire crews from Red Hill Park and Ferndown have attended a fire involv...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 2.10pm: Poole - One crew from the Poole fire station were mobilised to a repor...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 12:01pm: Swindon - Crews from the Stratton, Westlea and Swindon Fire stations w...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 01:03am: At 01:03 Fire control took a 999 call to reports of a fire in the open...Read more

19th May, 2019 - 12:21am: At 00:21 Fire control took a 999 call to reports of alarms activating ...Read more

Heath fires and countryside safety

When you are out and about enjoying the countryside, there are some things you can do in order to protect our beautiful surroundings and keep you safe.

Large wildfires are thankfully rare but, when they do occur, they can be very serious and affect large areas of the countryside. They also take a great deal of resources to bring under control, which impacts the availability of appliances for property fires and other emergencies.

The Upton Heath fire in Dorset in 2011, for example, damaged approximately 250 acres of the heath and required the mobilisation of 30 fire engines and 11 Land Rovers.

Wildfires can ravish the local wildlife, destroying ecosystems in a matter of hours that have taken years to build up. If a wildfire encroaches upon farmland, then crops and farm buildings can be consumed, and homes that border heathland can also be at risk.

At their worst, wildfires can cause death or injury to people. A developed wildfire creates its own wind, which drives it at speeds faster than people can get out of its way.

Steps you can take to avoid starting a wildfire:

Sam’s Sad Day

Sam’s Sad Day is a story about a sand lizard whose home is destroyed by a wildfire. Once you have read the story, you can test the children’s understanding and recall using the Sam’s Sad Day questions worksheet (the answer sheet is provided).

The children can write their own story about a wild creature whose home is destroyed by a wildfire.

For other resources or ideas about fire safety for children, visit our education section.

Advice for landowners

Through controlled management of planting schemes and firebreaks, the risk of a wildfire starting can be reduced and the effects of a ‘going’ wildfire can be restricted.

Fire spreads at different rates through different vegetation so, by managing the planting, the rate of fire spread can be slowed to give fire crews extra time to get resources in place.

A best practice guide has been produced by the Forestry Commission, giving further information about the causes of wildfires, their behaviours and the steps that landowners can take to prevent or mitigate them.

See also:

The Natural England website – www.naturalengland.org.uk – has lots of information, including an explanation of the Countryside Code.

Find out more about being a Firewise Community through the Urban Heaths Partnership.

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