Fire service appeals for care ahead of controlled burn season


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With the UK’s heather and grass burning season due to begin on 1 October, firefighters are urging farmers, landowners and residents across the region to remember to take extra care and to ensure they notify the fire and rescue service if they are undertaking any burning on their land.

The Code dictates that burning is allowed only between 1 October 31 March in upland areas and between 1 November and 15 March elsewhere.

Dave Hughes, Head of Fire Safety for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Many farmers will be taking the opportunity to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass, bracken and gorse on their land now the controlled burning season has started – we understand the need for this but we want to highlight the importance of following the Heather and Grass Burning Code and of notifying us before conducting any controlled burn.

“As well as farmers, we are aware that householders sometimes burn rubbish or unwanted items on their land, often in their back garden. We advise against this practice and I would issue a word of caution – fires can spread quickly and they can be extremely unpredictable. We would appeal to residents to dispose of their waste responsibly and use local authority waste sites where possible.  If you must burn, then please do so responsibly, ensuring that suitable control measures are in place, and consider the potential effect on neighbouring properties.

“Every year during controlled burning season we are called to countless false alarms and controlled burns which have spread, resulting in land and property being destroyed and damage to the ecology of our landscapes – as well as tying up our resources which could be put to better use elsewhere.

“We therefore urge anyone undertaking controlled burning to notify us first by calling our control room to help avoid false alarms and fire crews being sent out unnecessarily.

“We are asking everyone to be responsible when it comes to controlled burning. Please work with us to help keep our communities safe.”

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service issued the following guideline for anyone planning to undertake controlled burns:

  • Call NWFRS’s control room on 01931 522006 to notify them of the time and location of the burn
  • Ensure you have sufficient people and equipment to control the fire
  • Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to property, roads and wildlife
  • If a fire gets out of control contact the fire and rescue service immediately giving details of location and access
  • Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check the next day to ensure it has not reignited
  • Remember – It is illegal to leave a fire unattended or to have too few people to control it.
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