Warm, summer days brings people to the countryside, but there is a risk of fire. Follow the Countryside Code. Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service warns of fire risks in the countryside

As the weather gets warmer, more people will want to visit and enjoy the local countryside. However, the dry vegetation creates an added risk of a fire starting in the countryside.

Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some of these fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness.

Fire safety tips

Here are Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside:

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland. Sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them)
  • Take all your litter home
  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area, away from fences, trees, shrubs, long dry grass or any other items that can catch fire easily. Click here for move advice on BBQs
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue. Only use recognised lighters or starter fuels on coal
  • Never leave BBQs unattended and don’t drink and cook
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe designated areas well away from foliage and anything flammable
  • Empty ashes onto bare soil not somewhere that might catch fire like long grass or dry vegetation. Always ensure they are cold and any embers have gone out. If possible pour water over the ashes to make sure they won’t catch the surrounding area light
  • Use torches or LED candles to light your way, avoid the use of candles that might fall over and start a fire
Only have BBQs in designated spots. Follow the Countryside Code. Photo by Kirsty TG on Unsplash

What to do if you see a fire

If you see a fire in the countryside, 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. If you can, prepare for the arrival of the fire and rescue service at the pre-arranged meeting point, by unlocking gates, etc.

The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside. Most of it is good common sense, designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.

The Code makes it clear what the responsibilities are for the public and for the people who manage the land. The Code also has information about rights, liabilities and how we all have a duty to protect the countryside.

Together with common sense, it helps to make it easy for visitors to act responsibly and identify possible dangers.

For more safety information visit www.bedsfire.gov.uk