As the weather is warming up, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding visitors and residents to take care when visiting the countryside and take their litter home to avoid accidentally starting a wildfire.
Wildfires can have a devastating impact on the environment and preventing them is important, especially during warm weather when the ground is drier and more prone to setting alight.
Discarded litter, cigarettes and camp fires can all cause wildfires in the countryside. Reflective items such as cans and glass can also start fires, along with camp fires that have not been properly extinguished.
Councillor Andy Crump, portfolio holder for Fire & Rescue and Community Safety said: “As we enter Summer, many residents and tourists visit our beautiful countryside, and we ask people to ensure they enjoy it responsibly.
“The warm weather leads to the ground drying out, making it easier for fires to begin and subsequently spread.
“Taking your litter home and making sure any fires are properly extinguished helps to avoid wildfires in the countryside and you’re doing your bit to help preserve our beautiful county.”
While visiting the countryside, there are steps you can take to help prevent wildfires:
Don’t discard cigarettes or matches whilst walking or driving through the countryside
Don’t have BBQs in unauthorised areas and make sure any BBQ’s are cold before they are disposed of correctly
Never leave a BBQ unattended
Don’t start campfires in the countryside
If you live close to woodland or heathland do not burn off garden rubbish during hot weather
Report any evidence of illegal firesetting activity
What to do if you discover a fire
If you need to, move to a safe place and call the Fire Service on 999 immediately, provide as much detail as you can – size of fire, location and terrain
Don’t tackle the fire
If you haven’t already, self-evacuate the area as soon as possible – these fires can spread fast
If you see any suspicious activity in your area, please contact Warwickshire Police on their non-emergency number 101 (or dial 999 if appropriate) or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.