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Monday, February 25, 2013

Burn safely, fire service urges farmers


With a dry spell of weather predicted and with the controlled burning season drawing to a close, firefighters are appealing to farmers to undertake their controlled burning in the safest and most effective way possible.

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 towards the end of the period to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass and gorse on their land.

Staff from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been visiting livestock markets across the region in recent weeks to spread to word on safe controlled burning.

Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: " 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.”

Farmers are asked to follow the guidelines below if they 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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