COUNTRYSIDE visitors are being urged to help cut the number of wildfires.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Services say fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitat each year.
Recent warm weather and any future dry spells have raised concern in fire officers who believe these conditions are perfect to start wildfires.
Steve Chicken, community protection manager for the service, asked people to follow simple rules when out in the countryside.
Extinguishing cigarettes properly before disposal, taking rubbish home, especially glass that can magnify the sun’s rays, and reporting any fires they see as well as taking care with barbecues and bonfires, which should never be started with petrol and never left unattended, are all important.
Mr Chicken added that if a fire cannot be extinguished with one bucket of water it should be tackled by professionals.