Release date 24 June 2020
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is urging residents to be vigilant to the risk of wildfires over the coming days.
On Wednesday and Thursday, The Met Office is forecasting the risk of fire to be very high across the whole county, with temperatures set to soar.
Watch Commander Matt Gamblen is West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Wildfire Tactical Advisor. He said: “With this spell of exceptionally fine weather comes the increased risk of fire in the open. We are calling upon all residents to take extra care over the coming days to ensure they do not inadvertently put themselves and others at risk of fire.
“Even something as simple as not stubbing out a cigarette properly could make the difference between an enjoyable Thursday in the sun for all, and a catastrophic wildfire that destroys acres of our beautiful countryside.
“We have had a couple of instances recently where people have started ‘camp fires’ in woodland. Fortunately, our firefighters were called swiftly when these fires got out of hand and we were able to minimise the damage caused to surrounding woodland. But next time we may no be so lucky.
“We would ask all residents to follow the simple steps to ensure that they and their families are not put at greater risk of suffering the devastating effects of a fire.”
• Don’t burn household or garden waste
• Dispose of cigarettes responsibly and ensure they are fully extinguished
• Never leave a fire unattended
• If you are having a BBQ, ensure it is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs
• Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
• Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
• Ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it
• If you're using a disposable BBQ ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then pour copious amounts of water over it to make sure it is out before putting it in the bin.