WILDFIRES: Advice on avoiding and preventing

How to stay safe and help protect the countryside

The wildfires on Saddleworth Moor and Holme Moss have made national news but there have also been a number of smaller incidents locally which if uncontrolled can become a risk to life and property as well as damaging wildlife in the area.

Residents are being reminded to take care when out and about in parks and countryside around Calderdale and West Yorkshire. Due to the recent spell of warm, dry weather there is currently a higher risk of wildfire spreading across the UK countryside, and on moorland in particular.

In order to stay safe and help protect the countryside, residents and visitors should be aware of the following rules when visiting rural and moorland areas:

  • Do not discard cigarettes in the countryside; dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished
  • Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
  • Only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using facilities provided.
  • Always take extra care if using a barbecue, even in designated areas
  • Don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them

Report any information about illegal fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or 999 if the crime is happening at the time.

If you do see a fire in the countryside:

  • Contact the Fire Service immediately – dial 999 (don’t assume it’s already been reported)
  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water
  • Give a map reference if possible, otherwise give a landmark such as a farm or pub to help locate the fire
  • Estimate the size of the area that’s burning
  • Describe the type of terrain (grass, bracken, forest, open moorland etc)
  • Evacuate the area as soon as possible.
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