Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service bolsters wildfire response

Firefighter wearing wildfire kit carrying a hose and extinguishing a grass fire Download Image

This week, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service swiftly responded to a series of flooding incidents, fires caused by lightning strikes, and wildfires. The impact of climate change is becoming increasingly evident throughout the county, prompting the service to enhance its preparedness with new equipment and resources.

In an effort to address the escalating effects and consequences of climate change, including more frequent and prolonged large-scale flooding and wildfire events, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has invested in two Hagglund vehicles and provided wildfire kits to all operational firefighters.

As part of the service’s Climate Change Operational Response Plan, this investment ensures the readiness and effectiveness of the firefighting teams in tackling emergencies like wildfires.

During an incident at Peel Park in Accrington on Wednesday, June 14, firefighters wearing the newly acquired wildfire kits and utilising the Hagglund vehicles successfully and efficiently extinguished a fire, preventing it from reaching a nearby plantation of trees.

The lightweight wildfire kits, distributed to firefighters earlier this month, facilitate ease of movement, particularly when responding to wildfire incidents in challenging terrain and demanding weather conditions.

The Hagglund vehicles, equipped with rubber tracks for all-terrain capabilities, enable firefighters to swiftly reach fires and other emergencies in locations that are typically difficult to access.

In conjunction with the dedicated burn team, established after the Winter Hill wildfire in 2018, these investments enable firefighters to efficiently and safely extinguish wildfires, utilising fewer resources and minimising the impact on local communities.

Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston expressed his satisfaction with the positive impact of the investments made by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and The Combined Fire Authority, stating:

“The incident at Peel Park in Accrington on Wednesday could have been significantly larger if it weren’t for the skills of our firefighters equipped with this new kit.

“Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is the first fire and rescue service in the UK to equip all frontline responders with wildfire kits.

“Combined with the recently introduced wildfire burn team, the service is now better equipped to respond more efficiently to wildfires whilst ultimately reducing the devastating impact that they can have on the communities and environment in Lancashire.

“These investments also underscore our commitment to better comprehend and mitigate climate change emergencies in Lancashire, while ensuring the safety of our firefighters in challenging conditions.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue's new Hagglund vehicle