Countryside lovers are being urged to take care and stay alert this Bank Holiday weekend, especially after the recent wildfires at Chelwood Gate and Duddleswell on Ashdown Forest.
Crews from East Sussex, West Sussex and Kent Fire and Rescue Services attended a fire on Ashdown Forest last Sunday evening, which devasted areas of natural and scientific interest.
Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities.
Steps can be taken to prevent fires in the open, such as not throwing cigarettes out of car windows, as well as being careful with BBQs and not discarding glass.
Following the Countryside Code could help prevent a damaging fire and if you see anything please contact 999 immediately.
Also, the Wildlife Group Website also has a wealth of information to protect both our countryside and wildlife. Also in line twice
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Sunlight shining through glass can start large fires - take glass bottles/jars home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- Keep young children and ball games away from barbecues.
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
- Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas and never leave them unattended.
- Ensure that your barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents.
- Only camp and picnic in designated areas.
- Obey safety signs.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows - they can ruin whole fields of crops.
If a fire breaks out
If a fire breaks out, call 999 immediately.
It can be hard to give the location for an open area so mention any landmarks, such as a public house or a church in the vicinity.
Don't tackle fires yourself. Always leave it to the professional