Welcome from the Chief
Call before you burn- be responsible
The controlled burning season is now underway and every yearwe are called to countless false alarms or more serious incidents where fires have gone out of control, sometimes spreading alarmingly over wide areas.
At their worst, these fires can cause irrevocable damage to the environment, threaten livestock and even residents and their homes, as well as the firefighters who are called to deal with them.
That’s why we are appealing to farmers and landowners to take on board some basic safety procedures and notify us when they are conducting their burn.
Burning is allowed only between the 1st of October and the 31st of March in upland areas and the 1st of November and the 15th of March elsewhere.
I would urge all landowners undertaking controlled burning to heed our advice and notify us by calling our control room - this will help avoid false alarms and crews being sent out unnecessarily as well as ensuring we are ready to respond in the event of a burn getting out of control.
Last year, almost 4000 people called in to notify us of a controlled burn – and we’d like to encourage everyone to ‘call before they burn’.
Landowners need to take responsibility for their own actions when conducting controlled burning. The fires are often set in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited - should a fire be allowed to get out of control, this can place tremendous pressure on resources, with firefighters frequently spending considerable lengths of time battling to stem the flames and dampening down afterwards. Other lives are therefore put at risk as firefighters are kept from attending genuine emergencies.
Please follow the guidelines below if you are planning a controlled burn:
- Call 01931 522006 to notify North Wales Fire and Rescue Service
- Ensure you have sufficient people and equipment to control the fire#
- Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to property, roads and wildlife
- If a fire gets out of control contact the fire service immediately giving details of location and access
- It is illegal to leave a fire unattended or to have too few people to control it.
- Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check next day to ensure it has not reignited
Staff will be visiting farmers markets in the region over the next couple of months, as well as winter fairs aimed at the farming community, advising landowners on how to conduct a safe burn and reminding them to call our control room to notify us of any burning activity.
Remember – even small garden fires can get out if control. So if you are tidying up your garden this autumn, please remember to be responsible and do not leave a fire burning unattended – let us know if you are burning garden waste.
Please visit click here to learn more and to view our video clip featuring local celebrity farmer Gareth Wyn Jones talking about the importance of this campaign.
This month marks ‘Stoptober’, which encourages people to give up cigarettes for 28 days – statistics show that those who are able to quit smoking for this period of time are five times more likely to give up.
As well as the health dangers, people need to be aware of the deadly risks of smoking in the home and how smoking materials can very quickly and easily lead to a fire. Electronic cigarettes also pose their own risks - last year a fire in a student’s bedroom in Bangor where an e-cigarette left to charge on the bed had overheated, igniting the bed was featured on BBC Programme X-Ray, highlighting the dangers involved.
If you don’t feel able to give up, please do be aware of the fire risks you face - cut out dangerous habits, install smoke alarms on every level of the home and test them weekly. A working smoke alarm means you are more than twice as likely to survive an accidental house fire.