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Derbyshire residents urged not to have any garden or controlled fires as heatwave continues

Derbyshire firefighters have been at the scene of a huge moorland fire in Tameside since last Monday
Derbyshire firefighters have been at the scene of a huge moorland fire in Tameside since last Monday

Derbyshire County Council is asking residents to take extra care to help firefighters keep the county safe during the ongoing heatwave.

Calls to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service to attend out of control garden and rubbish fires doubled this week with the risk of more serious incidents increasing as temperatures continue to rise.

The service has today issued new advice encouraging residents not to start any kind of garden or controlled fire following an emergency call-out to a garden fire which had run underground through dry roots and earth to a neighbouring property.

Councillor Barry Lewis, county council leader, said: “Conditions are tinder-like in many places and all it would take is a carelessly discarded cigarette, an unattended barbecue, a garden fire or a sky lantern to cause a major incident.

“Our emergency services do an amazing job and we want to do everything we can to support them. We can all play our part and we’re urging residents to be safe and sensible and not put lives and land at risk.”

Over the past month Derbyshire firefighters attended 44 accidental fires including out of control bonfires and discarded barbeques – and 66 fires which had been started deliberately in open grassy areas and farmland.

Councillor Lewis added: “It’s hard to understand how some people can be so reckless when it’s clear their actions could have such serious consequences as the shocking images of the fires on Saddleworth Moor show.

“Meanwhile, Severn Trent Water is reporting the highest demand for supplies in 40 years and we’re working with them to support their efforts. At a time like this the last thing we need is a major incident caused by carelessness or recklessness using valuable resources.”

Derbyshire County Councillor Kevin Buttery, who is also Chair of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Our firefighters do a great job keeping the county safe often in extreme conditions which are made even more challenging by the current heatwave and we can all do our bit to support them by following the fire service’s safety advice.”

Safety advice issued by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service:

New advice issued today - residents are encouraged not to have any garden fires or controlled burns until further notice to prevent fire spreading underground through dry roots and earth.

General fire safety advice

• Site your fire on bare earth, away from dry grass or vegetation that can easily catch fire

• Keep bonfires away from overhanging trees and away from sheds, homes and garages, other property and pet enclosures

• Do not use petrol or accelerants to light fires

• Keep a bucket of water or hose pipe on hand in case of an emergency

Barbecue safety

• Keep barbecues away from overhanging trees, sheds, garages, homes and pet enclosures

• Never use petrol or accelerants to light barbecues

• If you’re using a disposable barbeque place it on a hard, fireproof surface – never on dry grass

• Place hot coals onto bare earth to cool down and never put them into a wheelie bin or other bin that could catch fire. Consider the safe disposal of single-use barbecues

• Keep a bucket of water or hose pipe on hand in case of an emergency

Fire safety outdoors

• Don’t discard cigarettes out of car windows – dispose of them properly

• Don’t leave glass bottles lying around – the sun can magnify through the glass causing a fire

• Place barbecues on bare earth, away from dry grass and don’t leave them unattended until they’re completely extinguished.