Wildfire Aware Prevention Advice

Away from home

Ensure you are aware of and follow any advice or restrictions that apply to areas you are visiting. Areas could also 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.

Help prevent wildfires by:

  • Only having campfires and barbecues in designated areas and ensure they are extinguished fully with water
  • Supervising campfires or barbecues, never leave them unattended
  • Disposing of litter properly – items such as glass bottles can focus the sun’s rays and start a fire
  • Never setting off sky lanterns
  • Disposing of cigarettes and smoking materials safely – ensure they are properly extinguished and don’t drop cigarettes or throw them 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.

Actions to take if you see a wildfire

  • If you see a fire in the countryside, always move to a place of safety and report it by calling 999. Do not assume someone else already has
  • Do not attempt to tackle the fire yourself
  • Give as much information as you can about the fire, you might be asked about size, location or even terrain
  • Always follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities. If you live in certain areas you might be asked to evacuate or you might be instructed to stay indoors with your doors and windows closed

Wildfire Aware

At home

If your property is close to vegetation such as farmland, woodland, open countryside or even an urban park, you should be aware that an out-of-control fire on your property could lead to a wildfire.

Barbecue safety

Enjoy a barbecue safely by:

  • Positioning your barbecue away from anything that could catch fire such as fences, shrubs, overhanging trees and sheds
  • Ensuring it’s on a solid flat surface that can’t catch fire. This is particularly important if using a disposable or low barbecue as they can easily set light to surfaces like grass or decking and can stay hot for a long time
  • Never using a barbecue in an enclosed space or on a balcony
  • Keeping a hosepipe or bucket of water nearby
  • Never using other flammable liquids to start or revive your barbeque – use only recognised lighter starter fuels on cold coals
  • Never leaving a lit barbecue unattended
  • Extinguishing your barbecue fully when finished with water.
  • Making sure the ashes are cold before disposing of them safely

Bonfire safety

Have a bonfire safely by:

  • Avoiding garden bonfires during dry hot spells – there is an increased risk of the fire getting out of control
  • Never using an accelerant such as petrol or other flammable liquids
  • Making sure your bonfire is away from anything that could catch fire like fences, overhanging trees, shrubs and sheds
  • Keeping your bonfire to a controllable and manageable size
  • Having a hosepipe or a bucket of water nearby.
  • Never leaving a bonfire unattended and damping it down fully when you have finished burning

Sky lanterns

NFCC strongly advise you do not use sky lanterns. Releasing an uncontrolled flame can easily lead to a wildfire.

They can easily cause damage to your own or neighbouring properties. Sky lanterns also litter the surrounding area and organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy, Royal Society for the Protection of Animals and the National Farmers Union have joined NFCC in asking for these devices to be banned.