Countryside fires

Every year, wildfires destroy thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. They also put lives and surroundings at risk. Wildfires often spread quickly among plants that are dry and easy to burn, such as gorse and heather.

Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. A cigarette end thrown from a car or train or perhaps a bottle left behind after a picnic could start a blaze which destroys acres of fields, woodland, crops or undergrowth and with them the habitat of local wildlife.

The dry ground in the summer means there’s an added risk of a fire starting, but you should take care at all times of the year.

How to reduce the risk of wildfires

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw the cigarette end on the ground.
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
  • Help stop fires from starting by never lighting a open fires in the countryside.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland. Sunlight shining through glass can start fires. Take them home and or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area. Never leave them unattended and make sure it is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents.

What to do if you see a fire

  • Report it to the Fire and Rescue Service immediately.
  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water.
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible.

The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code contains advice on how to respect, protect and enjoy the countryside.