Fire service plea to picnickers to leave the barbecue at home

By Emma Dance

8th Aug 2022 | Local News

The fire service has appealed again for the public to be mindful of fires as another heatwave comes to the UK.

The ground is already tinder dry say the service, so please do not have BBQs or open fires on grassland, and be careful of discarded cigarettes and to avoid having bonfires.

But Devon and Somerset Fire Service, who have issued the following advice, do say that if you spot someone locally having a bonfire, do not call 999 immediately, but first go and talk to them.

They put up the following notice:

"This week we have seen dramatic scenes as our firefighter colleagues from across the country have battled wildfires and worked to protect homes and businesses nearby. We have also had a busy time (although not to the same levels as elsewhere in the country). We have attended a high number of 'fires in the open' so far in July attending 195 (compared to an average of 148 for the same period over the past four years).

"The devastating aftermath of the London fires you may have seen in the media brings a stark reminder of the power of fire. It doesn't discriminate, it just burns whatever's in its path, whether that is grass, trees, cars, homes or businesses.

"Although we are well trained and resourced to deal with wildfires, we need your help to reduce the likelihood of them happening. We have had a number of people getting in touch this week concerned about wildfires.

"Most wildfires are started by human behaviour – a BBQ, campfire, discarded cigarette, or glass lying on dry ground magnifying the sun's rays. They can also sometimes start due to a bonfire (which was intended to be controlled) getting out of control."

Help us reduce the risk of wildfires

  • Please don't have BBQs or campfires in the countryside, or on any grassland during this very dry weather.
  • If you're a smoker, please take extreme care with how you put out your cigarettes and dispose of them.
  • Don't leave litter, and pick it up if you see it. Don't leave it to someone else. Discarded litter, in particular glass bottles, pose a fire risk when the sun's rays are magnified through it.
  • Avoid having bonfires at the moment. If you must have one, follow our bonfire safety advice and let us know you're having a controlled burn (call 0333 399 0014). This is so we can check in with you if we receive any 999 calls reporting a fire in the same area, which stops us from sending firefighters out to bonfires when they're not needed.
  • Read more about how you can prevent wildfires.

If you're worried about a neighbour's bonfire

  • We advise only using a bonfire if absolutely necessary, making sure it is well away from anything that could burn and is constantly supervised.
  • If you are worried about a neighbour's bonfire, the first thing you should do is talk to them.
  • Please do not call us to report someone having a bonfire unless it is an emergency.
  • If someone is burning bonfires regularly this may be considered a nuisance. Check your local council website for information on how to report nuisance bonfires.

Together we can all make a difference to help make our environment safer and to protect each other and the safety of our firefighters who will be there to help should you need it. Read more about bonfire safety.

Be wildfire aware

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