Woodland blaze sparks fresh fire safety warnings
- Credit: Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service
As the country experiences one of the driest April months on record, Norfolk fire chiefs are urging families to take extra care.
Greg Preston, head of community safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, is urging members of the public to avoid lighting fires and remain cautious with flammable material as the dry weather continues.
This comes after fire crews from across the region were called to deal with a woodland blaze at Brandon Country Park.
Mr Preston said dry undergrowth could mean fires spread rapidly and became very dangerous.
“We are absolutely concerned. It is an incredibly dry period, the driest on record for some time,” he said.
“We want members of the public to take extra care when they are out and about.
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“Discarded smoking materials are quite common and carelessly discarded glass can also start fires in the sunlight.
“But similar to last year, a lot of people want to go out and enjoy the countryside and take things such portable BBQs, which can cause undergrowth fires.
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“We are asking people to follow instructions and think about putting BBQs on bricks or a concrete slab. Often there are areas provided but if you are in any doubt, please don’t use them.
“These fires grow very quickly and they can tie up value firefighting appliances. We have to send an awful lot of resources to these incidents, which take resources from other areas which could be used for life saving jobs.”
Mr Preston said they were also putting out warnings about bonfires as many prepared their gardens for the upcoming bank holiday weekend.
He added: “But please take extra care when lighting bonfires and fire pits. Time and time again we see it spread to fences, sheds and on occasion neighbouring properties."
A spokesman from Forestry England said: “If you do discover a wildfire, get to safe place, call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue service.
“Using ‘What3words’ or giving a grid reference helps the Fire service locate the fire site and getting a quick response is the best chance of preventing a fire getting out of control.
“Keep forest gateways clear as you never know when emergency access will be required.”