Appeal for vigilance of fire risks

Residents and visitors to Northumberland are being urged to be vigilant of wildfires during the current warm, dry weather.

During spells of hot and humid conditions, the risk of fires starting in dry vegetation and moorland areas increase dramatically.

As a result of the current and prolonged warm and dry weather, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is advising people and visitors to the county to be alert to the chance of fires, especially in rural areas.

They have issued several guidelines that people should follow:

• extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly;

• never throw cigarette ends out of car windows;

• don’t discard bottles or glass because sunlight shining through glass can start fires. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin;

• avoid using open fires in the countryside;

• consider carefully where you have a barbecue and never leave them unattended;

• if you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately by calling 999;

• don’t attempt to tackle fires, leave the area as quickly as possible;

• and the service strongly advises against buying or using Chinese or Sky lanterns.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service was one of 13 partners involved in the EUROFINET (European Forest Fire Network) project.

The project reflected the growing concerns about wildlife across Europe as a whole, and the accepted need for practitioners working in all regions of Europe to share good practice and collaborate across national borders.