Long periods of hot and dry weather can increase the risk of grass fires.
When the ground is extremely dry, grassland and parks will burn quickly when exposed to even the smallest of sparks.
What can cause a grass fire?
Anything that is burning can start a grass fire. The most common offenders are cigarettes and barbecues.
- Cigarettes dropped on dry grass that have not been properly extinguished are very likely to cause a grass fire. Even cigarettes thrown from a car window can start a fire. Many roads are banked by or near to grassland, and these can be easily set on fire by a cigarette when dried out.
- Disposable barbecues can cause fires when smoldering ash and embers are carried by the wind onto areas of dry grass. Disposable barbecues that have been discarded and abandoned can still end up causing a fire, as they will continue to retain heat after use. Disposable barbecues need to be put right out and cooled before being thrown away.
- Glass bottles (left on or near dry grass) - can start fires too, as glass can magnify the sun and start a fire.
Grass fires can spread extremely fast. If you see dry grass smoldering, call 999 and report it immediately, so that firefighters can deal with it and stop it from spreading.
Grass fire prevention tips
- Be extra careful in parks, open spaces and woodlands, where the risk of fire is great.
- Safely dispose of smoking materials, such as cigarettes.
- Don't drop cigarettes (or anything that is burning) on dry ground.
- Don't throw or drop cigarettes out of car windows.
- Do not barbecue on balconies - the wind may carry smoldering ash towards nearby grassland.
- If you're barbecuing near dry grass, have a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergency use.
- Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire.
- Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires.
Please note: BBQs and fires are not allowed in any of our parks or surrounding woods.