WITH the recent run of hot weather, grass and fields are incredibly dry – which makes them far more susceptible to fire.

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service has been called to numerous grass fires already this summer, including a field blaze near Chiseldon that was started by a discarded barbecue.

In addition, a 400m x 300m field of standing crops was destroyed by fire near Shrewton on July 24, with eight fire crews needed to fight the fire.

Area Manager Ian Jeary said: “The sunshine is wonderful but it means the countryside is tinder dry, and any fire will spread incredibly quickly, often causing a great deal of damage to land and property.”

The service has highlighted the following safety tips for staying safe outdoors this summer: Å Avoid open fires in the countryside. If you have to have a fire, make sure you’re in a designated and safe area, and have a water supply to hand.

  •  Always make sure cigarettes and other smoking materials are properly extinguished.
  •  Don’t throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle.
  •  Don’t leave bottles or glass in fields or woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can cause a fire to start.
  •  If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately.