Public urged to stay fire safe in hot weather

Cambridgeshire residents have been urged to stay fire safe when outdoors as the warm weather continues.

With temperatures hitting significant highs, fires in open areas of land can easily spread and become out of control. Events north of the country, with significant moorland fires at Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill, have shown how these fires quickly spread and take hold of open areas of land.

Group Commander Kevin Napier, head of community fire safety at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We want to help ensure that people enjoy the sunny weather while it’s here safely. High temperatures and dry areas of land can be perfect conditions for a fire to spread. Something as simple as not stubbing a cigarette out properly, or using a disposable barbecue on grass, can start a fire that can develop quickly.”

There are seven simple steps we urge residents to take to help prevent an outdoor fire:

  1. Ensure cigarettes are completely out
  2. Do not throw cigarettes out of car windows onto grass verges or vegetation
  3. Put disposable barbecues on bricks, do not place directly on grass
  4. Do not leave glass bottles lying on the ground, the sun’s rays reflect through the glass and can start a fire
  5. When camping, do not leave campfires unattended and make sure it is completely out before you leave it
  6. Use barbecues on a hard, flat surface, away from grass, shrubs or fencing
  7. Talk to your children about the dangers of starting a fire.

Group Commander Napier added: “In the last week or so, our Combined Fire Control has received almost 100 calls relating to fires in the open in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. These have ranged from forest fires to stack and crop fires. As we’ve seen with the moorland fires, these can quickly spread and burn for days, which require a significant amount of firefighting resources.”

Crews have been called to a number of fires in the open in the past week. Crews from Dogsthorpe, Wisbech, Chatteris, Stanground, March and Ramsey have all spent time at various incidents involving fires in the open.

Group Commander Napier concluded: “We always see an increase in calls to fires during spells of hot weather. This does result in our crews spending significant time at incidents that could be avoided, which is why we are urging residents across the county to follow our simple tips to help avoid accidentally needing us to extinguish their fire.”