Hampshire Council warns of 'devastating' impact of wildfires on environment

190722 WILDFIRE WARNING MERIDIAN
The authority shared photos of damaged caused by wildfires to the environment and animals Credit: Hampshire Countryside Service

Warning: This story contains graphic images

People are being warned about the devastation that can be caused by wildfires, as the UK has recorded its hottest ever temperature so far.

On social media, Hampshire County Council's Countryside Service posted photos of the scorched environment after a blaze.

Pictures show the threat fire can have on small animals like lizards, butterflies and snakes.

It comes as provisional Met Office data shows 40 Celsius has been exceeded in the country, with a temperature of 40.2C reported at London Heathrow.

Hampshire Countryside Service said snakes were among the animals found in the aftermath of a wildfire Credit: Hampshire Countryside Service

Hampshire Countryside Service has issued advice on how people can stay safe:

  • 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

  • Always take extra care if using a barbecue

  • Only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using the facilities provided – and remember, barbecues are not allowed in any part of the New Forest National Park

  • Don’t leave campfires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them

  • Talk to young people about the dangers of playing with and lighting fires

If anyone sees a fire in the countryside, they are being told to get to safety and call 999.

People are also being advised to download the app What3Words on smartphones to help the emergency services pinpoint the location of fires and incidents.