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Firefighters remind farmers ‘Call before you burn!’


Following on from the successful controlled burning campaign which has been running for the last four years, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is visiting
livestock markets across the region to ensure landowners take on board some
basic safety procedures and notify them when conducting 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 will now be taking the opportunity to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass bracken and gorse on their land.

Staff will be visiting livestock markets over the coming months and will have a presence at Anglesey Winter Fair and the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in December, giving away specially designed air fresheners branded with the controlled burning number and leaflets reminding landowners how to conduct a safe controlled burn.

Gary Brandrick, Senior Fire Safety Manager, said: "Every year during controlled burning season we are called to countless false alarms and controlled burns which have spread resulting in valuable land and property being destroyed as well as large number of fire-fighters being required to deal with it - so we decided to take this campaign to the livestock markets and winter fairs and make face to face contact with landowners. The response has been very positive and we're really grateful to all those who have taken our messages onboard.

"We're hoping to build on this success and we are urging all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us by calling our control room on 01931
522 006. This will help avoid false alarms and crews being sent out unnecessarily.

"We are also asking these landowners to be responsible when it comes to controlled burning. The fires are set 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 other emergencies.

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

- Ensure they 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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