From Devon & Somerset Fire Service:
With sunny weather, many people are outdoors strolling or hiking; it is easy to inadvertently cause a fire through carelessness.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service remind walkers and campers to be mindful of the impact and damage that a wildfire has on the environment in places like Dartmoor. These fires are very dangerous as they spread fast and can change direction in an instance.
Alan Gilson, Community Safety Prevention Manager explained: “We want people to be able to enjoy the countryside but ask them to be vigilant during drier weather to help prevent more wildfires in the future. A change in wind direction can cause the fire to spread rapidly, putting firefighters at risk as well as nearby people and property.”
Alan added that fire resources often have to be diverted away from other duties to deal with wildfires.
Top tips to avoid a wildfire starting:
• extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
• never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
• don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands – sunlight shining through glass can start fires; take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
• avoid using open fires in the countryside
• if you see a fire in the countryside, report it 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.
Alan added: “Some fires are clearly started deliberately – and we would ask the public to report any suspicious behaviour to the police immediately. You can contact the police on the 101 number or alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”