Help prevent wildfires

Date published: 28 June 2018

Visitors to rural areas and residents are advised to be vigilant for wildfires.

The risk of wildfires

The current spell of dry weather combined with the current hot conditions has resulted in elevated wildfire risk across Northern Ireland.

With the weekend and summer holidays approaching, there will be an expected increase in members of the public taking this opportunity to explore the countryside,

Wildfires are not natural, they are almost always started by humans either deliberately or through carelessness. They put lives at risk, destroy our surroundings and the wildlife in them, and are a real cost to society. 

Members of the public visiting the countryside should take particular precautions so as not to accidently cause wildfires through their activities.

Under the current conditions, any ignition source in hazardous fuels may give rise to wildfire development and spread, particularly in areas with dead grasses, gorse, forestry and heather and, can cover extensive areas in a very short period of time and may be hazardous to human life and wildlife.

Preventing wildfires

If you are in the countryside:

  • extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
  • never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
  • only use barbecues in designated areas and never leave them unattended
  • make sure that barbecues are fully extinguished and cold before disposing of their contents
  • avoid using open fires in the countryside
  • do not leave bottles or glass behind - sunlight shining through glass can start a fire
  • be considerate in parking vehicles so as not to impede access by emergency vehicles

More information on fire saftey outdoors can be found on the page below:

What to do if you see a fire

If you see a fire in the countryside:

  • report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service
  • do not attempt to tackle fires that cannot be put out with a bucket of water
  • leave the area as soon as possible
  • if you see someone setting fires, report it to the PSNI


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