Wildfire warning to country visitors

A WILDFIRE warning has been issued to those planning to visit Northumberland’s countryside.

The Northumberland Fire Group fears that the dry winter and hot spring poses a high risk of fire breaking out across the county’s moorlands and forests and is urging people to take extreme care if visiting the area over the Easter holiday.

Chairman Angus Collingwood-Cameron said: “The spring is often a dangerous time for wildfires as there is still a great deal of dead, dry vegetation about, and not much juicy new growth.

“With the weather that we have enjoyed over the last few weeks this material is now very dry and potentially combustible.

“To add to the worry, this hot weather follows a very dry winter and early spring so the underlying peat is now also very dry.”

He added: “If a wildfire does get going in our uplands it is possible that it could get into the peat, which means that it is very difficult to control and can do long-term environmental damage.”

Countryside visitors are asked to be aware of the risk, act responsibly and call 999 if they suspect a fire has broken out.