Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service – Wildfire Safety Advice
Wildfires are a serious problem in Lancashire. We deal with more and more fires on moorland and grassland each year, with many sadly being caused by the actions of people.
However, there are many ways you can help to avoid wildfires starting. It is especially important to be very wary of wildfires when out camping, caravanning and using disposable barbecues.
Wildfires are becoming more common each year. Climate change is also a factor because it means some areas are drier and more likely to set alight.
But with your help, we can reduce the number and seriousness of wildfires in Lancashire. This will stop them causing costly damage and endangering lives.
Wildfires in Lancashire
We want people to stop using disposable barbecues in the countryside to reduce the amount of harm caused by wildfires.
Wildfires are easily started and can spread rapidly putting people, property and infrastructure at risk. The terrain makes them challenging to firefight and demands large amounts of our resources, as well as from the resources of our partners.
Lancashire knows only too well the devastating effects of wildfires following a fire on Winter Hill near Bolton in summer 2018 which destroyed 18 square kilometres of moorland. Despite this, we continue to experience avoidable fires in open spaces across the county, causing long-lasting harm to wildlife, habitats, and biodiversity.
The threat to the environment and our communities can be significantly reduced if people enjoy Lancashire’s great outdoors without using disposable barbecues.
How You Can Help
You can help look after Lancashire if you’re out enjoying the countryside, parks or beaches or even at home by following this advice:
- Never use disposable barbecues on moorland or grassland. Please pack a picnic instead.
- Avoid smoking on moorland. If you do, always extinguish your cigarettes and other smoking materials thoroughly.
- Do not dispose of cigarette butts out of car windows.
- Never leave bottles behind, as sunlight can become focused as it shines through glass, starting fires. Please take your litter home with you.
- Keep children away from lighters and matches.
If you are a landowner or manage land, please only carry out controlled burns if absolutely necessary and within the legal timeframe each year. It is very easy for controlled burns to get out of control and cause unintended wildfires.
In the Event of a Wildfire
- If you see a wildfire, call us on 999. Don’t assume someone else has.
- Provide as much information as you can about the location, size, terrain and any other relevant information.
- If you need to, move to a place of safety and don’t try to tackle the fire.
- Stay away from the area and adhere to road, footpath and other closures. They may be dangerous and you could block access for emergency services.
- If you are nearby and affected by the smoke, keep windows and doors closed.