Local Fire Brigades Warn Risk of Grass Fire Disaster
Many crews are currently near Ascot fighting a large forest fire with Berkshire FB
Following the warmest April on record and with the warm, dry weather looking set to continue, London Fire Brigade is urging Londoners to take care.
“The grass is just so dry at the moment, all it will take is a dropped cigarette or an ember from a BBQ and we could be faced with a raging inferno almost straight away.”
Grass and forest fires account for over one in ten of all fires attended by the Brigade. In the last year alone, London Fire Brigade has attended almost 3000 grass and forest fires. The number of grass fires has shot up - this April there has been a 50% rise in the number of grass fires when compared with last April.
Grass fires can spread extremely quickly and pose a huge threat to wildlife, parkland and even people’s lives. The main causes of accidental grass fires are barbecues, cigarettes, discarded matches and glass bottles, which, when left on dry grass can concentrate the sun’s rays and cause fires. Firefighters advise that barbecues are never left unattended and are completely out after being used. Cigarettes should be carefully disposed of as they can easily ignite dry grass. Firefighters are particularly concerned about drivers who throw lit cigarettes out of car windows as dry grass verges ignite easily.
The Brigade advises that if you see a grass fire, you shouldn’t attempt to put it out yourself as grass fires can travel very quickly and change direction without warning. You should call 999 immediately and tell the Brigade where the fire is.
April 21, 2010