'Extreme risk of wildfires' warns region's fire and rescue service

Credit: Cumbria County Council

Fire service chiefs in our region say there is an 'extreme risk' of wildfires after weeks of dry conditions.

In the past weekend, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have responded to two separate wildfire incidents: one at Whinlatter Forest, Keswick and one at Thirlmere Reservoir.

In Dumfries and Galloway, a fire consumed health and grass land just north of Dumfries at Terregles.

They urge people who live within, or who are planning to visit, the Lake District or rural environments to be extra cautious.

Wildfires can burn for days and devastate large areas of land and wildlife, and the welfare of nearby communities too.

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."

Credit: Cumbria County Council

Cumbria Fire and Rescue ask people to follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside:

  • 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.