Fire Warning Continues


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Fire Warning


With no apparent break in the good weather until at least next Monday (24 April), and with many still on an Easter holiday break, firefighters are renewing a fire warning appeal for people to stay safe while enjoying the sunshine.

The warm weather has seen a spike in fires in the open. A blaze on Yateley Common destroyed six hectares of heathland – three hectares went up in a fire in Bordon – and an astonishing 39 heathland and grass fires across the two days of 11 / 12 April.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s Group Manager – Jerry Leonard – says fires can cause devastating damage to woodland, wildlife and property, but more importantly they also put lives at risk: “Here in Hampshire we are lucky to have stunning countryside, forests and woodland. The recent warm weather means that our countryside is very dry. 

“Unfortunately this time of year we also see a rise in illegal fire setting, which is why we urge anyone who suspects or witnesses a fire being started to report this to the police. By respecting the countryside and our county’s open spaces we can create a safe place for all to enjoy.”

Nigel Matthews is Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the New Forest National Park Authority: “With more people out in the forest enjoying sunnier spring days over the coming weeks, it is important that people are aware of the dangers of wildfires in the New Forest, especially in the open areas of heathland. 

“Please don’t use barbecues away from car parks as even the smallest ember or spark could cause a dangerous fire which would destroy wildlife habitats and endanger people’s homes.”

(Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service work with the National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and Hampshire Constabulary to protect the countryside and ensure everyone can enjoy it safely.)