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Firefighters remind farmers to 'Call before you burn!'


North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is reminding landowners of the importance to 'call us before you burn!'.


Staff from the fire and rescue service have been busy visiting livestock markets across the region in recent months to encourage landowners to take on board some basic safety procedures and notify the fire and rescue service before they conduct their burn.


The Heather and Grass Burning Code states that burning is allowed only between the 1st of October and the 31st of March in upland areas and the 1st of November and the 15th of March elsewhere.


Many farmers have been taking the opportunity to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass bracken and gorse on their land.


It appears however that some landowners are continuing the practice beyond the burning season and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service continues to be called out to incidents where controlled burning has got out of control.


One such incident in April onHopeMountainnear Wrexham involved 300 square metres of gorse which tied up local firefighters for nearly 6 hours as they fought to contain the fire using beaters and hose reel jets.


Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "Every year we are called to countless false alarms and controlled burns which have spread.


"We are urging all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us by calling our control room on 01745 535805. This will help avoid false alarms and crews being sent out unnecessarily as well as ensuring we are ready to respond in the event of a burn getting out of control.


"The weather has been quite dry recently and it is easy for fires to spread. These fires are often in areas where access is extremely difficult and water supply is limited - should the fire get out of control, this can place tremendous pressure on resources, with firefighters tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control. These fires can put homes, livestock and the lives of crews and residents at risk as firefighters are kept from attending genuine emergencies.


"Please follow the guidelines below if you are planning a controlled burn:


-          Ensure you have sufficient people and equipment to control the fire

-          Check wind direction and ensure there is no risk to property, roads and wildlife

-          If a fire gets out of control contact the fire service immediately giving details of location and access

-           It is illegal to leave a fire unattended or to have too few people to control it.

-          Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check next day to ensure it has not reignited."

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