Beware risks of grass fires as summer arrives

The heavy rain might hopefully be a fading memory but Beds fireservice is warning of the dangers of grass fires once the weather improves.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 3:08 pm
Updated Monday, 4th July 2016, 4:11 pm

“Every year fire is responsible for the destruction of thousands of acres of countryside,” says Andy Martin, Community Safety Officer.

“They can destroy pleasant open spaces and threaten wildlife habitats. Some country fires can last several days once they take hold and use up valuable Fire Service resources which could be needed elsewhere. Driven by the wind they can threat homes and lives.

“Bedfordshire Fere and Rescue Service are urging people to be fire aware in our countryside and asking parents and guardians to make sure their children know how dangerous it can be to start fires in our countryside. It is also a criminal offence which could land you in court.”

Follow these tips to help to prevent grass fires

>Avoid using open fires in the countryside

>Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands where sunlight shining through glass can start large fires

>Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly

>Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows - they can ruin whole fields of crops

>Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas and never leave them unattended

>Keep young children and ball games away from barbecues

>Ensure that your barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents

Andy Martin adds: “If a fire breaks out, please call the Fire and Rescue Service immediately using 999. It can be hard to give the location for an open area so mention any landmarks, such as a public house or a church in the vicinity. 

“Do not attempt to put the fire out yourself unless it is very small. Grass and crop fire can travel very quickly and change direction without warning. ”