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Firefighters remind farmers to ‘Call before you burn!’


As the heather and grass burning season began on the 1st of this month, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging farmers and landowners across the region to remember to ‘Call before you burn!”.
Many farmers will be taking the opportunity to undertake controlled burning of heather, grass, bracken and gorse on their land – and firefighters are highlighting the importance of following the Heather and Grass Burning Code and of notifying the fire and rescue service before conducting any controlled burn.
The Code states that burning is allowed only between the 1st of October and the 31st of March in upland areas and between the 1st of November and the 15th of March elsewhere.
As part of this annual awareness-raising campaign, Service staff will be visiting livestock markets across the region to ensure landowners take on board some basic safety procedures as well as get in touch before conducting their burn.
Staff will also have a presence at the the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in November.
Specially designed air fresheners branded with the controlled burning number and leaflets reminding landowners how to conduct a safe controlled burn will be available from staff.
Justin Evans, Head of Community Safety for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“Our message to farmers and landowners is simple - don’t put the lives of others at risk, be responsible when it comes to conducting a controlled burn.
"A fire can spread quickly and is extremely unpredictable. 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 tying up our resources which could be put to better use elsewhere.
“We therefore urge all landowners undertaking controlled burning to notify us first by calling our control room on 01931 522006  to help avoid false alarms and fire crews being sent out unnecessarily.
"We are also asking landowners to be responsible when it comes to controlled burning - with detailed advice available on our website www.nwalesfireservice, on how to avoid unnecessary risk.
“It’s the responsibility of all of us to protect wildlife – but if natural nesting areas are burnt out of the burning season it is not just a matter of breaking the law but also severely damaging the ecology of our landscapes.
“Farmers have responded positively to our campaign in previous years – I would like to thank them for this and ask them to continue to be responsible.
“Unfortunately, we also often see a rise in deliberate fires at certain times of the year, so I would also like to take this opportunity to issue a reminder that setting fires is a criminal offence. We actively work with police to combat deliberate incidents and appeal to anyone with information on such activities to report it to Crimestoppers or contact 101.”
Further information on how to be responsible when conducting a controlled burn can be found here.

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