Fire Service urges people to take a picnic not a BBQ

If British Summer Time and warmer days means you will be visiting one of our local heathlands or outdoors spaces to enjoy the wildlife and wilderness, please take a picnic.

That's the advice from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service who are encouraging residents and visitors to take a picnic and not BBQ. Warmer and breezy weather increases the risk of accidental or deliberate fires in our open spaces.

There asking people who are out and about to follow some simple steps:

  • If you are enjoying open spaces when a fire occurs, get to a safe place and call 999 with as much information as possible.
  • Consider downloading and using What3Words to identify your exact location.
  • You can also help by reporting any antisocial behaviour on the heath to the Police on 101.

During 2021, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service dealt with 494 fires in the open. In 2022, they have already seen large wildfires in Dorset & Wiltshire and firefighters across the UK have dealt with more wildfires between January and May than in the whole of 2021 (243 compared to 237 in 2021).

Anyone caught starting a fire on a heath will be prosecuted whether it is a case of deliberate arson or neglect, for example an unauthorised camp fire or a disposable BBQ that gets out of control.  Wildfires cost lives not only to endangered plants and animals but also put people and houses in danger.