Fire service urges help preventing outdoor fires as heatwave continues

Photo by WSFRS. Firefighters at the crop fire in Chilgrove Road, Lavant. 23-07-18
Photo by WSFRS. Firefighters at the crop fire in Chilgrove Road, Lavant. 23-07-18

Residents are being asked to help prevent outdoor fires after a spate of incidents across the county.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it had been ‘very busy’ with ten field fires since last Thursday, alongside a number of fires involving hay bales, woodland and grass verges.

Overall, from Monday July 16 to Monday this week, fire crews were called to 35 incidents involving fields, hedgerow, trees and unattended bonfires.

A fire service spokesman said: “It is essential we all take care to help avoid more of these incidents from happening and we would advise you don’t start barbecues or campfires in the current weather.

“Many of these fires can start due to carelessness, and can potentially endanger lives.

“There is lots of advice on our social media accounts and on our website, and I would urge everyone to follow it.”

Safety tips include ensuring cigarettes are completely out and not discarding them onto grass verges and putting barbecues on bricks or a hard flat surface away from grass.

Glass bottles left lying on the ground may also catch the sun’s rays and start a fire.