NFCC issues precautions as 70 UK wildfires breakout in 2022


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Following more than 25 wildfires last weekend alone, the National Fire Chiefs Council is urging the public to take additional precautions. And there is now a large-scale wildfire in Devon and Somerset which has ten fire appliances in attendance, with alerts out for similar fires in both South Wales and Lancashire.

In additon, a six hectare wildfire in East Sussex has also been reported earlier this week. To date in 2022, there have already been more than 70 significant wildfires across England and Wales – showing how serious the issue is this early into the year.

Over the last weekend, firefighters tackled wildfires which broke out in Cornwall, Wales, Cumbria and areas of the Pennines, with incidents in Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire. With the additional incidents reported today, firefighters across the UK will be battling these over the coming days.

According to NFCC, the dry weather conditions the UK is currently experiencing – combined with strong winds and dead vegetation which has built up over the winter can lead to spate conditions for such fires – and makes fighting and controlling wildfires incredibly difficult.

Wildfires often result in sustained and prolonged operations by UK fire & rescue services and other partner agencies.

Often, firefighters from across the country will be deployed to deal with just one in a different part of the country, depending on its severity. This includes specialist equipment, tools and vehicles, as well as national tactical advisers to give expert help and assistance on how to tackle them.

As the weather improves and temperatures rise, NFCC is calling on the public to ensure they are not putting our green spaces and natural habitat at risk. While encouraging people to enjoy the countryside, simple measures can help prevent wildfires.

Fire chiefs and fire services across the UK are urging the public to enjoy the countryside responsibly; asking them not to have barbeques or campfires and to ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them.

Paul Hedley, NFCC’s wildfire lead points out: “We have seen over 20 wildfires in just one weekend; these can take hold incredibly quickly, destroying land and habitats, while impacting on local communities. They also create one of the most challenging incidents for firefighters as they not only battle with the fire itself, but also the weather conditions.

“We want the public to enjoy our wonderful green spaces, but the use of portable barbecues and campfires can be catastrophic for our countryside. Even a poorly discarded cigarette or a glass bottle can spark a wildfire, leading to a major incident.”

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