Wildfire warning as county sizzles

As temperatures continue to rise and in one of the driest early summers on record, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fires and Rescue Service is warning of a much higher risk of wildfires.

Fire Risk Manager Gary Coupar said: “Already this week we have seen incidents up and down the county which fortunately we have been able to get speedily under control.

“In a prolonged hot dry spell, the countryside is like a tinderbox and we know things as simple as a carelessly discarded cigarette butt can rapidly lead to a wildfire.

“Wildfires are a nightmare for firefighters, it’s extremely hot, hard work to put them out while wearing our full kit.

“We can also end up spending a long time on the scene because of the risk of flare-ups.

“The biggest risks come from motorists dropping lit cigarettes butts out of window while driving and picnic BBQs.

“Please use the car ashtray and if you are planning a countryside BBQ take along a couple of large bottles of water and thoroughly drench portable BBQs or used coals before disposing of them.

“And please plan carefully where you are going to site your BBQ before you light it. Make sure there’s nothing flammable nearby.”