Field fire sparks warning to take extra care in countryside

Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston
Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston

Firefighters who tackled a burning field are urging people to be extra vigilant with cigarettes and glass in the countryside.

As Bedfordshire enjoys glorious weather, the high temperatures mean the risk of fire is increased.

Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston

Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston

Prevention Support Manager Thomas Warner said: “Dry vegetation in the summer means there’s an added risk of a fire starting in the countryside. Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats.

“Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. “Fires can easily start due to discarded cigarettes or glass.”

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue tackled a field blaze in Kempston last night (June 30).

They were called to the fire at Bell Farm, off the A428, at 6.39pm. When they arrived six minutes later they found 600 sq meters of grass and hedges alight.

Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston

Firefighters tackle a field blaze in Kempston

One fire appliance from both Bedford and Kempston Community Fire Stations attended, supported by the water carrier from Kempston. They fought the fire using two covering jets, beaters and back packs, getting it under control by 8pm.

Following the incident Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service offered advice to people using the countryside this summer.

Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground.

- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.

- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them). Take your litter home.

- Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended.

- Avoid using open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas.

- Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

- If you can, prepare for the arrival of the fire and rescue service at the pre-arranged meeting point by unlocking gates.

Mr Thomas added: “If you see a fire in the countryside contact the Fire and Rescue Service by calling 999 immediately.

“To help us respond quickly we need to know its location as accurately as possible. Providing the proximity of the fire to a nearby landmark like a church or a pub will help if you aren’t able to provide an address or map reference.”

For more information on The Countryside Code, please visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode/