Forest fire warning issued as temperatures are expected to climb into the 30s
Incidents have already been reported and forecasters say temperatures across much of the region will hit 30 degrees by the weekend.
Wildfires have the ability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities.
Forest fires can be prevented
Forest fires can be prevented by not throwing away cigarettes or other smoking materials.
The same can be said for garbage, because very often bottles and broken glass can start a fire.
Avoid the use of disposable barbecues
Some CLA members have pointed to the increased fire risk associated with disposable barbecues used in the countryside, urging visitors not to barbecue in rural areas.
Barbeques should only take place in sheltered areas away from combustible materials and properly extinguished afterwards.
Government refuses to ban sky lanterns
The CLA has also long called for a ban on sky lanterns, as these pose a serious fire hazard, especially in the countryside.
At present, the government is unwilling to introduce a ban as it does not consider the dangers significant enough, despite animal deaths and fires caused by sky lanterns.
Bamford: Use common sense and keep an eye out
Regional Manager Tim Bamford said:
“Fires have significant impacts, both on communities, destroying the landscape and destroying wildlife, and we urge the public to be extremely vigilant when traveling in the countryside.
“Enjoy the rural areas, but please take the trash home, use common sense and keep an eye out.”
What to do if you are aware of a fire
- Do not attempt to fight the fire yourself.
- Call 999 and ask for the fire department.
- Give a precise location of the fire, eg the name of the nearest road, access points, visible landmarks (pubs, farms, power lines, etc.), locally known names and grid references Map.
- Move to a safe area and contact the local land manager if possible.
- If the fire is in a remote area, please meet the emergency services at the access point so you can guide them to the location.
What you should not do
- Do not throw away cigarettes.
- Do not install barbecues in unauthorized areas.
- Never leave a barbecue unattended.
- Do not litter, especially reflective materials.
- Do not burn garden waste during hot weather or if you live near a wood.
- Do not make bonfires on hot days or during prolonged periods of dry weather.
CLA South East represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight.
For more information about the CLA and its work, visit the website and follow @CLASudEst on Twitter.
News shared by Michael on behalf of the Country Land and Business Association. Ed
Image: ross stone under CC BY 2.0