Take extra care in the hot weather, warns Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is warning people to take extra care in the 'tinder dry' countryside.

Firefighters have 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 crops was destroyed by fire near Shrewton on Thursday, with eight fire crews needed to extinguish the flames.

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.

"We are urging people to take real care while out and about – a few moments thought can make all the difference.”

The service has highlighted the following safety tips for staying safe outdoors this summer:

• 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 fire extinguisher or some sort of water supply to hand.

• Always make sure cigarettes and other smoking materials are properly extinguished.

• Don’t throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle, as they could start a fire and destroy the surrounding countryside.

• 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. Don’t try to tackle it yourself.

• Make sure you know your location or nearby landmarks so you can direct the Fire & Rescue Service to the right place.

More advice, including a reminder of the Countryside Code, can be found at www.wiltsfire.gov.uk/countrysidesafety


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