East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Fires Outdoors

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) has some wonderful open areas, many of which are close to homes and businesses. 

The summer of 2022 was exceptionally hot and dry, and this triggered a number of wildfire alerts. 

We worked with local partners on prevention campaigns, in an effort to reduce the chances of wildfires and fires in the open. 

While we saw some significant incidents, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was able to contain these fires, putting them out before they spread.

ESFRS fortunately did not require support through National Resilience arrangements and we were able to provide mutual aid with adjoining Fire and Rescue Services.                                                                                                          

We continue to review our approach to preventing and responding to these incidents, working alongside the National Fire Chiefs Council and other organisations. 

Useful links 

Facts and figures – outdoor fires

Not all outdoor fires are wildfires, or indeed involve fields or woodland.

The National fire Chiefs Council states:

A wildfire will meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Involves a geographical area of at least one hectare (10,000 square metres)
  • Has a sustained flame length of more than 1.5 metres
  • Requires a committed resource of at least four fire and rescue service appliances/resources
  • Requires resources to be committed for at least six hours
  • Presents a serious threat to life, environment, property and infrastructure 

The following table shows outdoor fires recorded by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service during June, July and August of each of the following years. More information can be found on the attachment.

                June      July        August  Total

2020       163         117         131         411

2021       71           78           89           238

2022       95           225         199         519

These figures cover incidents involving the following.

  • Canal, riverbank vegetation, Grassland, pasture, grazing etc, Heathland or moorland, Hedge
  • Beaches, Cycle path, public footpath,bridleway
  • Loose refuse (incl in garden)
  • Park, Playground (not equipment) or Recreational area
  • Railway, Wasteland
  • Outdoor equipment and machinery - Agricultural equipment, Barbeque, Cables, /Garden equipment
  • Outdoor structures - Camping tent, Common external bin storage area, Fence, Kiosk, Rubbish container (eg skip), roadside furniture, Outdoor storage, Recycling collection point, bottle bank, rubbish tip, recycle container, Wheelie Bin
  • Private/Domestic garden/allotment (vegetation not equipment/building)
  • Roadside vegetation, Scrub land, Stacked/baled crop (incl manure heap), Standing crop 
  • Straw/stubble burning, Tree scrub (includes single trees not in garden)


Latest Update :
22 November 2022
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