WITH the warm, sunny and dry weather forecast, what a perfect opportunity to start to enjoy the wonderful countryside and beaches that we have to offer. However, since the start of Summer, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue have attended 280 grass fires that have either been started deliberately or were accidental.
Recognising the impact that these fires are having on our communities, MAWW FRS are working in partnership with the four Local Authorities, Dyfed Powys Police, Natural Resource Wales and CADW in a bid to tackle this issue and to protect the natural habitat and surrounding countryside.
During the summer, grass and mountains can become very dry, which means if you deliberately or accidentally start a fire outdoors it will spread very quickly, destroying everything in its path. The damage to the surrounding landscape and the effect on habitats and wildlife largely goes unrecognised.
Members of the public are being urged to take precautions and to follow the safety advice below:
Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly – don’t throw them out of car windows;
Only use barbeques in suitable and safe areas, never leave them unattended and always extinguish properly;
Don’t start fires in the countryside – dry vegetation means fires will spread quickly and easily;
Make sure your BBQ is in good working order before you use it;
Make sure let your BBQ cool down after use, before you dispose or move it; and
Never start open fires in the countryside.
Richie Vaughan-Williams, Arson Reduction Manager, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“Deliberately setting fires is illegal and irresponsible. Operationally, wildfires often require multiple crews working hard together, sharing equipment and on difficult terrain. This is a concern when we are trying to operate distancing procedures as much as possible to protect those crews. We would like to appeal to you to help us and other essential services in preventing these incidents from occurring.”
We need to work together to support our communities, to ensure the safety of our family and friends, neighbours, members of the public and our Emergency Services. Deliberate grass fires reduce air quality as well as stretch valuable emergency services away from lifesaving incidents, so we appealing to everyone to help us to help them.