Firefighters remind farmers ‘Call before you burn!’

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Following on from the successful controlled burning campaign which has been running for the last two years, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is visiting livestock markets across the region to ensure landowners take on board some basic safety procedures and notify them when conducting their burn.

 

The Heather and Grass Burning Code states that 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.

 

Many farmers will now be taking the opportunity to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass bracken and gorse on their land.

 

Staff visited Bryncir and Ruthin markets this week to launch 2012's campaign which will see them visiting markets in Mold, Gaerwen, Dolgellau and Llanrwst over the next few weeks giving away specially designed calendars and air fresheners branded with the controlled burning number and leaflets reminding landowners how to conduct a safe controlled burn.

 

Building on last year's partnership working, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is also teaming up with officers from the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Heather and Hillforts project at some of the markets to help encourage farmers in the AONB to undertake their controlled heather burning safely whilst still improving the habitat for agriculture, wildlife and the landscape.

 

Gareth Griffiths, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "Every year during controlled burning season we are called to countless false alarms and controlled burns which have spread - so we decided to take this campaign to the livestock markets and make face to face contact with landowners to get our messages across.

 

"We are urging all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us by calling our control room on 01745 535805. 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.

 

"We are also asking these landowners to be responsible when it comes to controlled burning. The fires are set in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited - should the fire get out of control, this can place tremendous pressure on resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control. These fires can put homes, livestock and the lives of crews and residents at risk as firefighters are kept from attending genuine emergencies.

 

"Please follow the guidelines below if you are planning a controlled burn:

 

- Ensure they 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."

 

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