Heatwave fires: Avon Fire and Rescue report huge spike in callouts during heatwave

Crews attend a deliberate fire last week Credit: Avon Fire and Rescue

Crews from Avon Fire and Rescue Service have seen a spike in the number of callouts with 88 more incidents than the previous week.

Between Monday 11 July and Monday 18 July, the control room received 418 calls concerning fires, significantly more than the 330 calls logged the previous week.

The increase in callouts come as more bonfires, barbecues and other deliberate fires have been spreading out of control due to soaring temperatures. 

Many people are making the most of the heatwave and taking to the great outdoors to enjoy the sunshine. Some of the most popular heatwave traditions are lighting barbecues and spending warm evenings outdoors next to a fire.

Be cautious when having open fires or using barbecues. Credit: Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

The fire service said: "Whilst we understand that many people will be tempted to light fires during this period, we would strongly urge you not to do this.

"Barbecues and bonfires pose a significant risk in high temperatures; with the surrounding areas being dry, fires can quickly spread out of control.

"Fires can also emit sparks which can travel sometimes metres from the seat of the fire and set light to grass, wood or even things like garden furniture and trees."

If you are having a barbecue or bonfire, at home or out and about, follow the three O’s:

Outside: Never use a barbecue indoors, on a balcony or in any kind of conservatory or greenhouse. Never start a bonfire indoors.

Out of the way: Keep barbecues and fires well out of the way of trees, fences, bushes and other garden features. If you’re out and about, make sure that you are barbecuing in an area where it is legal and safe to do so. Keep your barbecue out of reach of children, pets and beach balls or lawn games.

Out for good: When you have finished barbecuing, make sure the barbecue is out. After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it. Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they're hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.

If you get into difficulty and a fire becomes too large to handle, call 999 immediately and ask for the fire service.