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23 July 2019, 07:44 | Updated: 23 July 2019, 07:45
Norfolk residents are being reminded to be vigilant when using barbecues this summer, to help reduce the risk of accidental fires in open spaces.
With temperatures soaring this week and the school holidays already underway for some, residents and visitors will head out across the county to make the most of the summer.
But as the mercury soars, so does the number of fire call outs to Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service. Summer wild fires are often started accidentally, caused by discarded cigarettes or barbecues not being extinguished correctly.
Last summer, a long dry spell led to record numbers of call outs to the fire service, with fires in the open occurring across the county, including in forests, heath land, cliff tops and fields.
There was also an increase in the number of deliberately set fires and fires in bins.
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities at Norfolk County Council, said: "Fires can quickly spread so we would urge people to pay extra care when using barbecues and putting out cigarettes. Bin fires can quickly spread to the open. We would ask people to be vigilant and if they see a fire, however small, call 999."
Chief Fire Officer Stuart Ruff said: "We would urge the public not to start camp fires and bonfires during hot, dry conditions.
"Please don't use naked flames and take extreme care when discarding cigarettes.
"The impact of these careless acts presents a huge risk to lives and property and many open fires can been avoided."