An Amber wildfire alert has been issued for the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area, which is likely to stay in place into next week.
This alert means that, should a wildfire be experienced, it could spread quickly and easily due to the dry and windy conditions. As seen with the major incident at Wareham Forest last year, wildfires take a great deal of resources and time to bring under control, and cause devastation to heath, woodland and wildlife.
Group Manager Jason Moncrieff said: “In light of the Amber wildfire alert, we are asking for the public’s help by not having campfires or using disposable barbecues in our forests and heathlands. Whilst we understand that the lifting of some lockdown restrictions, combined with the dry weather, will mean people will want to go out and about, we cannot stress enough the importance of being fire aware. Please follow these few steps so we can avoid another wildfire in our beautiful countryside.”
Fire safety top tips:
Don’t have barbecues or campfires on the heath or in open spaces; the risk of a fire starting is too great in the current conditions.
Extinguish cigarettes properly, don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows – take your litter home.
If you see a fire in the countryside, call 999 and report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Please provide as much detail as possible about location and access, but also make sure you are in a safe place.
Landowners and land managers are also advised to be prepared for fires, where possible, and ensure that fire breaks are cut and well maintained, with any cut grasses and vegetation removed from the site.
More information on staying safe and enjoying outside areas whilst avoiding starting a wildfire can be found here – www.dwfire.org.uk/heath-fires-and-countryside-safety