DAERA urges public to help prevent wildfires

Date published: 28 June 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is advising visitors to rural areas as well as residents to be vigilant for wildfires.

The current spell of dry weather combined with the current hot conditions has resulted in elevated wildfire risk across Northern Ireland.

With the weekend approaching, the summer holidays just round the corner and schools closing there will be an expected increase in members of the public taking this opportunity to explore the countryside,

Wildfires are not natural, they are almost always started by humans either deliberately or through carelessness. They put lives at risk, destroy our surroundings and the wildlife in them, and are a real cost to society. 

Members of the public visiting the countryside should take particular precautions so as not to accidently start / cause wildfires through their activities.

Under the current conditions, any ignition source in hazardous fuels may give rise to wildfire development and spread, particularly in areas with dead grasses, gorse, forestry and heather and, can cover extensive areas in a very short period of time and may be hazardous to human life and wildlife.

Please heed the following advice:

If you are in the countryside:

  • Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
  • Only use barbecues in designated areas and never leave them unattended;
  • Ensure that barbecues are fully extinguished and cold before disposing of their contents;
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside;
  • Do not leave bottles or glass behind - sunlight shining through glass can start a fire;
  • Be considerate in parking vehicles so as not to impede access by emergency vehicles.

If you see a fire:

  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service;
  • Do not attempt to tackle fires that cannot be put out with a bucket of water;
  • Leave the area as soon as possible;
  • If you see someone setting fires, report it to the PSNI.

For more information visit the nidirect website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
  2. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email.  Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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