Wildfire Aware

Most wildfires in the UK originate from human activity either accidentally or by deliberate acts. Many people may be unaware of the risks associated with fires in the open. Even a small fire can lead to a wildfire. Educating individuals, organisations and communities as a whole about these risks can go a long way to forging an understanding of how these behaviours contribute to the problem, and how modifying them forms part of the solution.

Wildfires often result in sustained and prolonged operations by UK fire and rescue services and other partner agencies. Although many fire services are well- versed in dealing with these incidents, the impact of climate change means that we have seen an increase in wildfires and the wildfire season lasting longer in recent years.

Wildfire Prevention Advice 

Away from home

Ensure you are aware of and follow any advice or restrictions which apply to areas you are visiting.

Areas could be covered by Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) to reduce the risk of activities causing fires. Breaching a PSPO is a criminal offence and can lead to a significant fine.

  • Only have campfires and barbecues in designated areas and ensure they are extinguished fully when  used. It’s safer to pack a picnic
  • Always supervise campfires or barbecues, never leave them unattended
  • Dispose of litter properly – items such as glass bottles can reflect the sun and start a fire
  • Don’t use sky lanterns
  • Dispose of cigarettes and smoking materials safely – ensure they are properly extinguished and don’t throw cigarettes from a car window

Following the Countryside Code in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Outdoor Access Code in Scotland can help you spend time outdoors safely.

Report deliberate fire setting

Some wildfires are deliberately set. If you do see someone acting suspiciously or breaking a PSPO you can report this to the Police on 101 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

What to do if you spot a fire

  • Call 999 – don’t assume someone else has reported a fire
  • Ensure you are in a safe place away from the fire
  • Don’t attempt to tackle the fire
  • Give as much information as you can about the fire, you will be asked about size, location or even terrain
  • Listen and follow any advice given by the fire service to keep you safe