Fire service warns of wildfire risk ahead of an amber weather warning for extreme heat this weekend

The fire service warns that fires could ignite and spread easily across open grass land in hot temperatures this weekend.

Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 2:34 pm

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.

The fire service warns about the risk of wildfires over the weekend.

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.

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"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.”

An amber weather warning for extreme heat has been issued.

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.”