Take extra care in the countryside

24 April 2019, 12:12 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 12:18

Hot Easter weather sparks a wave of moorland fires here in Devon and Cornwall.

We are being warned to be extra careful after a number of moorland fires in Devon and Cornwall. 

Visitors to the countryside are being asked to take extreme care to avoid starting grass and moorland fires. 

An exceptionally dry spring followed by a hot East weekend has led to tinder-dry conditions and dozens of fires breaking out from the South West of England through Wales to the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

NFU Mutual is concerned that the current unusually dry conditions could lead to grassland and arable crop fires. 

Major Easter countryside fires include: 

  • BODMIN MOOR has been hit with multiple fires stretching a distance of two miles 
  • DARTMOOR the fire front was reported to be approximately 2km long consisting of multiple fire fronts. 

"The huge moorland fires we are seeing are a stark warning to the damage fires can cause in very dry conditions," said Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist. 

"A very dry spring followed by high temperatures over Easter mean that huge areas of land across the whole of the UK are at risk of fire - putting lives of people and farm animals at risk as well as destroying wildlife and growing crops." 

"Although some rain is forecast over the next few days, the countryside is extremely dry and remains at risk of fire." 

He also called for country dwellers and visitors to report people acting suspiciously on moorland to police as a number of fires are believed to have been started deliberately.