The CLA is calling on the public to take extra care in the countryside due to the increased fire risk as temperatures across the East of England continue to climb.
The risk of fire has been elevated by high temperatures predicted for this week, coupled with a moderate wind. The warm weather also coincides with an increase of visitors to the countryside with the advent of school holidays.
Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities. Reducing the risk of wildfires is key at this time of the year, and raising awareness is one way in which the risk can be reduced.
Wildfires can be prevented by not discarding cigarettes or other smouldering material. The same can be said for litter as quite often bottles and shards of glass can spark a fire.
The CLA represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses and some members have highlighted the increased fire risk associated with disposable barbecues that are used in the countryside, urging the visiting public to only barbecue in sheltered areas well away from combustible material, and properly extinguished afterwards.
The CLA has also long called for the ban on sky lanterns as these pose a serious risk of fire, especially in the countryside.
CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood, said: “We know the devastating impact wildfires can have during the summer, both on communities and farmers, and we appeal to the public to be extra vigilant when out and about in the countryside.
“Harvest time is a crucial time for farmers, but it is also a period of added risk of fire due to the tinderbox dry conditions on their fields. We encourage all farmers to equip themselves with fire extinguishers, or to have bowsers in strategic places around their field in case of fire, as well as checking their vehicles for faults which may release sparks onto dry stubble.”
In case of a fire, the public is advised not to try and tackle the fire themselves, and to alert the emergency services on the 999 number, stating as accurately as possible, the location of such a fire.