Following two wildfires in Cumbria last weekend, fire chiefs are urging people to take care while visiting the Lake District.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging people who live within or who are planning to visit the Lake District or rural environments to do so safely and with extra caution.
A statement from the service said: “Wildfires have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land and wildlife. If they get out of control, they can threaten the welfare of nearby communities too.
In the past weekend, fire crews have responded to a wildfire at Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick and one at Thirlmere Reservoir.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s head of community safety, Craig Drinkald said: “We are asking the public to think and act with extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame in a rural setting.
“Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.
“Livestock, land and wildlife can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.
“These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Countryside Code.”
Dry ground in the summer means there’s an added risk of a fire starting, but you should take care at all times of the year.
The following tips will reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside, the fire service said:
- Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground – take your litter home.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them).
- Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately.