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What should you do if you witness a grass fire?

Temperatures have soared in Wales this week, with Porthmadog, Gwynedd seeing highs of 30.6C (87.08F), the hottest temperature recorded in the UK.

It is at this time of year, grass fires can become a regular occurrence for some of us. Especially in areas that have seen significantly high temperatures, or areas where grass cutting has recently taken place and quickly dried out to effectively create hay – which can catch relatively easily.

What may seem like a relatively small fire, can quickly become out of control. Fire, no matter the size of the blaze is extremely dangerous. When a grass fire breaks out near to our homes, it’s difficult not to get involved and attempt to tackle the fire ourselves.

But what should you do if you witness a grass fire? The advice is simple.

If you witness a grass fire, you should contact 999 immediately. If you have information of people starting the fire deliberately, then you should contact 101 or CrimeStoppers. At no point should you ever tackle a grass fire. You should stay in a safe location and contact the Fire Service on 999.

In the Welsh Government’s report into the type of fires, Wales has seen a decrease in recent years.

The Welsh Fire and Rescue Authorities attended 1,716 grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2016-17, a decrease of 47 per cent on 2015-16.  The number of these fires is prone to fluctuation and the 2016-17 figure follows a period of instability. The 2016-17 figure is the lowest in the time series (from 2001 02).

Of the grassland, woodland and crop fires in 2016-17, 54 per cent were in South Wales, 28 per cent were in Mid and West Wales and 17 per cent were in North Wales.

Group Manager Matthew Jones Head of the Fire Crime Unit said:

“Grass fires impact our communities across Wales and draw fundamental and valuable resource away from our communities placing unnecessary risk on lives. The all Wales multi agency project Dawns Glaw has seen significant reductions in grass fires across Wales from a multi strand approach involving education, prevention and enforcement.

“We will continue to work with partners and communities to highlight the consequences and impact of grass fires on Wales”.

Despite this advice, we will no doubt continue to see residents come together and protect their properties if they feel in danger. Be sure to contact the Fire Service on 999 if a grass fire does occur, so they can attend and ensure the area is safe.