Now the weather is finally improving many of us will be going outdoors and enjoying the local countryside. However in the summer dry vegetation creates an added risk of a fire starting in the countryside.
Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside.
Follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside:
- Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground;
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows;
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them);
- Take all your litter home;
- Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area (see advice on BBQs on our website www.bedsfire.gov.uk ) away from fences, trees, shrubs, long dry grass or any other items that can catch fire easily;
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on coal;
- Never leave them unattended and don’t drink and cook;
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas well away from foliage and anything flammable;
- Empty ashes onto bare soil not somewhere that might catch fire like long grass or dry vegetation. Always ensure they are cold and any embers have gone out. If possible pour water over the ashes to make sure they won’t catch the surrounding area light.
- Use torches or LED candles to light your way, avoid the use of candles that might fall over and start a fire;
If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately. Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible. If you can, prepare for the arrival of the fire and rescue service at the pre-arranged meeting point, by unlocking gates, etc.
The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside. Most of it is just good common sense, designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.
The Code, updated in 2012, makes it clear what the responsibilities are for both the public and the people who manage the land. It has information about rights, responsibilities and liabilities and how we all have a duty to protect the countryside. Together with common sense, it helps to make it easy for visitors to act responsibly and identify possible dangers.
For more safety information visit our website www.bedsfire.gov.uk