Campaign aims to reduce the risk of wildfires

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service during a wildfire exercise.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service during a wildfire exercise.

The Countryside Alliance has launched a new awareness campaign on wildfires, using two Northumberland case studies.

Wildfires can devastate farmland, wildlife and protected habitats, as well as the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

Successful partnerships and groups have been formed in higher-risk areas to promote co-operation and collaboration on a range of issues.

The Countryside Alliance wishes to raise the awareness of the risk and potential damage of wildfires, and educate on the measures that can be taken to reduce those risks.

Two Northumberland initiatives have been highlighted as case studies for the new campaign.

The Northumberland Fire Group, which was formed in 2005, was one of the first multi-agency partnerships set up in the UK to deal with wildfires.

It delivers a range of activities to protect rural communities and the natural environment in the county.

Meanwhile, the Northumberland Collaborative Burning Project sees partner organisations share best practice, knowledge and expertise in reducing the potential risks through prescribed wildfires.

Jack Knott, Countryside Alliance campaigns manager, said: “Wildfires can have potentially devastating impacts on farming and local communities, wildlife and protected habitats.

“It is essential that all steps are taken to reduce the risk, this includes increasing education for those that enjoy our beautiful countryside.

“Remaining vigilant, especially during spells of hot dry weather, while enjoying the British countryside is essential.

“Furthermore, disposing of litter correctly, in particularly smoking materials, can help prevent wildfires.”