Monday, November 28, 2022

Renewed safety warning for Lincolnshire residents as wildfires double

Lincolnshire residents are being urged to take care to avoid devastating fires, as the hot, dry conditions continue.

The latest figures for the county show that during April – July there were 607 wildfires – 314 of these in July.

Last year, the same 4-month period saw 286 wildfires. These were fires involving:

  • Balers, tractors and combine harvesters
  • Farm fires including crop and straw bale fires
  • Grassland and hedge fires
  • Forests and woodlands
  • Refuse, including where bonfires have needed extinguishing.

Chief fire officer for Lincolnshire, Mark Baxter, said: “The weather continues to be hot and dry with no signs of this changing in the coming weeks. We are asking the public to please consider whether any kind of fire outdoors is appropriate – in most cases they are not. We would ask people not to have campfires or barbeques in the countryside. At home barbeques should only be used on a designated hard-standing area away from fences, sheds, buildings or hedges.

“It’s disappointing that, we are still seeing residents having bonfires in their gardens, which has led to several serious fires, despite continued warnings.

“This increase in call outs is being seen across the country, but puts a strain on both our Control Room staff and our crews – all of whom have coped incredibly well during this busy time.”

Other advice to avoid wildfires includes:

  • never throw cigarette ends out of car windows and always make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished and cool before you dispose of them.
  • sunlight shining through glass can start fires outdoors – take glass bottles/jars home or put them in a covered bin.

Mark added: “The service has recently seen more deliberate fires occurring in small pockets across the county too. These incidents put a further strain on fire and rescue resources, can easily escalate and cause serious damage, and mean fire crews could be delayed getting to other incidents.”

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