Emergency? Call 999

For general enquiries

Contact Us

Latest Incidents

19th May, 2024 - 12:51: Crews from across Swindon rapidly responded to reports of smoke coming...Read more

17th May, 2024 - 10.37am: Chippenham - a fire crew was alerted to a motorbike involved in fire n...Read more

16th May, 2024 - 18:00: Two of our crews from Poole were mobilised to reports of an oven on fi...Read more

15th May, 2024 - 4.31pm: We were called for a fire in the lounge of a house. Two crews from Chr...Read more

13th May, 2024 - 3.33pm: Fire crews from Christchurch and Springbourne attended a report of smo...Read more

13th May, 2024 - 3.27pm: Fire crews from Swindon, Westlea and Stratton St Margaret have dealt w...Read more

13th May, 2024 - 14.19: Fire crews from Dorchester and Bridport attended a road traffic collis...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 Wareham Forest fire in 2020 affected approx. 220 hectares of heath and woodland, and saw firefighters from all 50 of our fire stations involved in an incident that lasted over two weeks:

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.

Seemingly extinguished bonfires and BBQs often pose a continued risk of causing wildfires. Residual heat and embers can cause hidden smouldering fires underground, sometimes for a number of days, before spreading to surface vegetation. These unseen fires can be particularly challenging for firefighters to detect and can easily spread unnoticed. It’s another reason that we ask people to #BringAPicnicNotABBQ.

Steps you can take to avoid starting a wildfire:

Advice for landowners

Landowners and land managers are 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.

If you must have an open fire:

The Forestry Commission has guidance to ensure a consistent approach to planning and assessing proposals for deforestation, and the wildfire risk resulting from those proposals. Click here for more.

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 Dorset Heaths Partnership.

Sam’s Sad Day

Sam’s Sad Day is a story about a sand lizard whose home is destroyed by a wildfire. You can watch one of our firefighters reading the story here. 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.

results found.

Name:
Post Holders:
Grade: