Barbeques, fires, and fireworks all have the potential to cause fires.
Why it's important to protect our green spaces
Barnsley’s peat moorlands is especially at risk of fire. The peatlands store approximately double the amount of carbon that's stored in all the world’s forests. Healthy peatlands which are in good condition absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Maintaining our peatlands in a good condition helps us to make sure this carbon stays stored within the ground. Unhealthy, damaged peatlands emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Protecting our peatlands is a crucial part of our progress towards a net-zero carbon borough.
Peatlands also help:
- retain water on higher ground and reduce the risk of flooding
- assist in keeping water where it’s needed at times of drought
- provide important habitats for plant species and birds such as the golden plover, short-eared owl and merlin.
There are other reasons why it's vital to protect peatlands from fires. Recent fires in neighbouring authorities have caused great costs to landowners and emergency services.
Disposable barbeques, fires and fireworks can so impact on other important habitats in the borough. This includes forests, grasslands, wetlands and urban green spaces.
Smoke from wildfires can also have a negative impact on air quality many miles away.
How to prevent wildfires
- Please avoid using barbecues, camping stoves, and open fires in the countryside. They can quickly spread and get out of control.
- Extinguish smoking materials properly. Throwing cigarette ends on the ground or out of a car window can start a wildfire.
- Take your rubbish with you! Bottles and glass can start wildfire as they magnify the sun.
- We don't condone the use of flying lanterns, these can start wildfires, and pose a danger to animals as they can ingest the metal wire.
- Don't leave glass products behind when enjoying time outside. Direct sunlight through glass can cause a fire risk.
- Avoid driving on long, dry grass and fields. If you must drive in grassy areas, don't leave your engine running when parked.
We all have a responsibility to protect our countryside and open spaces for current and future generations. Care for nature - don't cause damage or disturbance. Leave rocks, stone, plants and trees as you find them and take care not to disturb wildlife including birds that nest on the ground.
What to do if you see a fire
- Immediately call 999 and ask for the fire service, giving your exact location.
- Don't attempt to tackle the fire yourself, get out of the smoke and into clear air.
- Follow the advice and guidance from the emergency services call handler.
- Get far away from the fire, it can spread incredibly quickly. Your safety is the most important thing.
Be wildfire prepared
Wildfires can threaten businesses and homes. It may seem unlikely that your home or business may become threatened by wildfire, but it pays to be prepared!
Reduce or remove areas of high fuel close to your home (vegetation, bushes, or piles of leaves).
Be aware that dense areas of vegetation, hedges, timber fences or sheds, and dry undergrowth will allow a fire to spread from an open space to your home or business.
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