Jump to content

Doing More to Prevent Wildfires?


Recommended Posts

I went for a walk today in a forest area in Buckinghamshire . The ground was unsurprisingly tinder dry and just waiting for some pillock to be a little careless with his/her smoking materials. It made me think, are any Fire & Rescue Services or Local Authorities doing anything more than the odd press release to prevent wildfires?

This forest isn't huge, but has perhaps 12 entrances and is surrounded by housing on 2 sides. A cheap estate agent type temporary sign at each entrance warning of BBQs and smoking may do some good.

The motorway verges were yellow, and many embankments led to dry looking crops, yet several matrix signs lay idle, when they could be warning of the risk of discarding dog ends on to the motorway plus BBQs in the countryside.

Lastly  a motorway service station was selling BBQ LPG bottles and throwaway BBQs with no warnings.

Where are the TV and radio ads??  Where is the social media effort? Have the HM Govt and the UKFRS been caught napping CFS wise in relation to wildfires?

Instead of tear-arsing about the countryside beating and squirting grass jobs, at HUGE expense, shouldn't the UK fire service do more to encourage businesses and local authorities to do more?

Link to comment

I have no idea whether NYFRS had anything to do with it but every footpath entrance  in the Dales had a “Serious Risk of Fire” warning sign up when I was there last month.  Do they work though?  Surely all but the totally brain dead realise by now that every bit of verge, forest, field, grassland and lawn is tinder dry and just waiting for a spark to set it going?  You just can’t help some people, like those still using Chinese lanterns and disposable bbqs despite the very obvious dangers.  Not sure they are the type to take heed of a warning sign.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I agree, signs, TV adverts and the like do not work. Those who are stupid enough to continue with BBQs despite recent events are never going to be law abiding or educated to the point they refrain from doing so. I guess its just the same as drink driving, no matter how many adverts or graphic scenes they are shown, those who are going to will still do it.

We had people trying to get on the moors near me with disposable BBQs whilst we were still on the moors. Read More..

We in the North have spent a lot of money advertising and posting on social media about the dangers which I am presuming does not get shown nationally, just as we do not see what the south does? As TandA, we have signs in certain places but as above, they are not taken seriously. 

I suspect after this years events, there will me more focus in this area in coming years to at least prevent a repeat incidents(s)

Link to comment

I noticed Lancashire on Twitter had a station out and about putting up similar signage in areas warning people of the risks but personally I think it just gets ignored.

I was at an event when all this was going on, on a large open grass space, tinder dry and I saw someone there with a disposal BBQ, beggars belief.  Sat there with the family and not a care in the world.  The lack of common sense out there is unreal now, would be one of the last things to do, especially when there were catering trailers everywhere!

Motorway verge went up around here on Friday suspect caused by someone flicking their cig out as they drove past.  

No matter what you do you will only ever hit a small percentage of individuals, they just think it won't happen to them or it won't be them that causes it.

Link to comment

Thinking back, I had an incident a few weeks back which involved an area of grass at the side of the road. The road is quite a fast road and not one you can really stop on. I managed to get my driver into a position of safety in order for us to wet the grass verge over a 25m area or so. What I discovered was charcoal in all the grass verge and could not work out why it was there? Surely, no one could have a BBQ on this road, not safely anyway.

Only on my way back to the pump did I get a passing motorist who told me he had seen what he described in a true northern fashion as a "some tit driving a steam roller" that had shovelled the contents of his boiler onto the verge, thus setting fire to it. I went looking for said "tit" to try and educate, but failed to find him.

I wouldn't care, but I passed the "tit" on the way to the job as we all said "eh, look at that, you don't see many of them on the road" ?

  • Haha 1
Link to comment

Diring the national FBU strike in 1977 the Govt spent £millions on tv, radio and newspaper ads with CFS type messages. The aim was to reduce the number of fires. I really didn't think it would help, but remarkably  call numbers fell thru the floor as the public made a special effort

You are all right, people are stupid as @Carl has demonstrated with his steam roller Pratt!!* But even if it only prevents 15% of incidents, it's got to be worth it - hasn't it.

*we tend to use steam rollers and general construction plant that are fitted with a new invention called a diesel engine down south. They are noisy and smelly, but have less risk.of fire compared to steam ??


  • Haha 1
Link to comment

I read this article yesterday. And from that:

"Hope and his team have focused on prevention across south Wales, increasing patrols, talking to landowners, visiting schools and burning strips of land to create firebreaks. In one way it has been a success – the number of wildfires recorded has reduced from 4,000 in 2009 to 1,800 in 2015."

South Wales also have this twitter showing how proactive these patrols are. In terms of how successful they are I'm unsure, but I reckon it's a good start.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

We got our local borough council's to sponsor "fire" mountain bikes which our fire volunteers go out on stopping to engage with walkers/ bikers. Also got them to sponsor small tins with a safety message on (they had mints in but could be used for poo bags or a to put yr fag  butts in !.

About 4 years ago we put up wildfire risk signs with the 12 figure grid reference on the back and a sign number which they could give to control, these locations were loaded to mdt.

Radio and Twitter used all the time down here...however it's difficult to quantify how successful it is !

Here's our leaflet

Surrey Wildfire Leaflet

  • Like 1
Link to comment
  • 5 weeks later...

@Carl late to the party here, but those ‘tits’ are not just a fire hazard! My parents live 5 minutes away from Amberley Working Museum, and as a result, they’re constantly moving traction engines on the roads around there. The roads in question are narrow country ‘B’ roads winding around the South Downs. They move them during all hours, including rush hour. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen ambulances attempt to negotiate 2 or 3 mile queues moving at <10mph behind them. It’s infuriating.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...