Fires in the Countryside
Putting lives at risk
When someone starts a fire deliberately, they are putting not only firefighters’ lives at risk but also their local community. These fires can easily spread and even a slight change in wind direction can pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment. Fighting gorse fires also means that firefighters and appliances are taken away from other duties and are unable to respond if another emergency call comes in. The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is appealing for help from the community in preventing these types of fires. Be vigilant for anyone starting fires deliberately and report any suspicious behaviour to the police. It also asks people to act responsibly and don't make hoax calls or attack firefighters.
Gorse fires can also be caused unintentionally by thoughtless and careless behaviour. The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service recommends that everyone heeds the following fire safety advice to protect themselves and the countryside.
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
- Only use barbecues in designated and safe areas and never leave them unattended - keep children and ball games away from barbecues.
- Ensure that barbecues are fully extinguished and cold before disposing of their contents.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Never leave bottles or glass in woodlands, as sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- Report any fire in the countryside immediately to the Fire and Rescue Service.
- Don't attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with one bucket of water.
- Leave the area as soon as possible if you see a fire.
- Report any suspicious behaviour to the police.