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Fire safety outside

Across the country there are thousands of acres of countryside to be enjoyed, but many are burned and completely destroyed along with the habitat of wildlife and livelihood of rural communities.

Many of the fires in the countryside are started deliberately, but most are due to careless and thoughtless actions.  These fires could be avoided by taking just a little extra care.

Guidance to improve your fire safety while in the countryside

If you must have a fire outside:

  • Build it with care, downwind at least 10 metres away from any trees, buildings, tents or caravans or vehicles.  Do not build it anywhere near standing crops.
  • Keep it small
  • Be aware of changing wind speed and direction
  • Never build fires in forestry or woodland.
  • Clear the area of grass and leaves and brush the ground to form a clear circle of earth.  At the centre dig a small pit to contain the fire.
  • Make the fire stack so that it will collapse inward when burning
  • Watch for flying embers and sparks
  • Do not leave the fire unattended
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive a fire
  • Do not throw any spent batteries, aerosols, camping gas cartridges or cylinders onto a fire.
  • Make sure the fire is fully extinguished before you leave it.  Douse any embers or ashes with water.
  • Remove any remaining debris and litter and put in a bin or take it home with you.  Bottles, and tin cans will not burn but they create other hazards in the countryside.
  • A high proportion of the most damaging fires in rural areas break out as the result of the careless disposal of cigarettes dropped thoughtlessly from a car as it passes through.  Never throw lit cigarettes from a vehicle.

Further guidance

The Countryside Code

Fire Safety Outdoors -

Contact us if you require further information or have another community safety enquiry.

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