Tips on how to enjoy the countryside safely this Easter

camp fire (pixabay)

Published at 12:22pm 10th April 2019.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding us to take care when out and about now that the weather is getting better.

With the school holidays in full swing it's natural that families will want to enjoy the sunshine, however, our local fire and rescue service says 'it only takes a moment of thoughtlessness to lead to a fire starting'.

If we decide to have a campfire or barbecue then we are told that we need to make sure it's in a safe area, and that the ashes are fully extinguished and dampened down before we leave so it doesn't lead to a wildfire.

Gaynor Mant, from the Prevention department, said:

"Large wildfires are thankfully rare but, when they do occur, they take a great deal of resources to bring under control, which impacts the availability of our crews for property fires and other emergencies.

The damage to local wildlife is also significant, often destroying ecosystems that have taken years to build up."

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

It's not just about barbecues and campfires though.

Gaynor Mant also has this advice:

"If you are burning garden waste in the garden, please site any bonfire well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures, and have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to accelerate.

Always call 999 if you think the fire is spreading."

SAFETY TIPS

The Service has the following advice for enjoying the outdoors safely:

  • Avoid open fires in the countryside. If you must have a fire, make sure that you're in a designated safe area.
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
  • Do not throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle. They could start a fire and destroy surrounding countryside.
  • Site bonfires well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.
  • Have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire.
  • Don't leave bottles or glass in woodlands, as sunlight shining through the glass can cause a fire to start.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Do not try to tackle a fire yourself; usually they can't be put out with a bucket of water.
  • If you're intending to have a large bonfire, please advise Fire Control on 0306 799 0019 or use the form on the Service website.
  • Ensure that you know your location or a landmark so you can direct firefighters to the scene.
  • Make sure you know the Countryside Code 

If you would like more information you can go to the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service website

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