County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) have issued advice ahead of an amber weather warning for extreme heat this weekend, (July 16 - 17) with the risk of wildfires across the area being extremely high.
The Met Office weather warning is for temperatures in excess of 28 degrees on Sunday and into next week.
The service is asking the public to think twice before doing anything which involves a naked flame and also encourages people not to light campfires, only use barbecues in designated areas and ensure they are fully extinguished, dispose of lit cigarettes correctly and take glass bottles home.
Watch shocking footage of drink and drug driver who caused death of young dad Richie Jordan as partner Carol King pleads for others not to make same mistake
Man arrested after collision leaves 13-year-old boy in critical condition
Sunderland rapist jailed for life as victims reveal horrific ordeal
The 13 places where most crime was reported across the north of Sunderland in June
Thunderstorms: When does the Met Office think thunder and lightning hit Sunderland this week and what does the yellow weather warning mean?
Emergency Response Group Manager Phil Innis said: “The key issues for us over the next few days are the warm, dry conditions coupled with any moderate to strong winds over the higher ground.
"Grass and heather on the ground will dry quite quickly in these conditions and when ignited can burn very fast with extreme fire intensity. Please exercise caution outdoors to avoid fires breaking out and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.
"We are working with the independent charity FireStoppers with the aim to reduce deliberate fire setting, please call 0800 169 558 if you have any information regarding deliberate fires in your area.”
CDDFRS has also warned about the dangers of open water such as cold-water shock, not knowing the depth or strength of current and not being able to swim competently to deal with the challenges of open water.
A spokesperson added: “Please enjoy the sunshine this weekend, safely and responsibly and look after each other and our beautiful area.”