Fire crews in Essex urge public to ‘stay fire aware’ as hot and dry weather returns

PUBLISHED: 15:23 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 02 August 2018

Essex Fire Service attends a field fire. Picture: ESSEX FIRE

Essex Fire Service attends a field fire. Picture: ESSEX FIRE

Archant

Last month Essex firefighters dealt with 632 outdoor fires, an increase of more than 50 per cent compared to 300 incidents in July last year.

Head of community safety, Lee Lucas, said: “We have been experiencing scorching temperatures and dry conditions for over a month now and the forecasts looks like it will continue. Even though we had a some rain last weekend, our countryside is still very dry and there is still a high risk of fires.

“We want everyone to have fun and enjoy the weather by going outside, but it is important to stay fire aware when out and about to ensure we can minimalise the fire risk.

“With the forecast set to remain hot and dry for several weeks, we really need people to help us to help them by taking some basic precautions to prevent fires. For example, take rubbish with you if you are out and about in the countryside as glass bottles and cigarette ends can easily start fires.

“We’d also like to encourage people NOT to have garden bonfires until the hot, dry weather has subsided, but if you do insist on having a fire make sure it is sited well away from sheds, buildings and trees and don’t leave it unattended, even for a minute. We attended too many incidents last month where a small garden bonfire spread to the whole garden and caused severe damage.”

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