What are the risks for Lancashire?

Wildfires are a serious problem in Lancashire and are unfortunately becoming more common each year, with an increasing number started either accidentally or deliberately on moorland, grassland and sand dunes. Climate change is a contributory factor in the frequency and duration of wildfires in the county as they usually occur in the spring and summer months, when hot, dry and windy weather provides ideal conditions for them to start and spread.

Wildfires present a real danger to life and property and are a threat to wildlife and the environment. This risk can be significantly reduced if people enjoy Lancashire’s great outdoors safely.

How could this affect me?

Potential impact and consequences

Wildfires are easily started and can spread rapidly, putting people, property, infrastructure and wildlife at risk. There are also long-term impacts in terms of restoration of the landscape, public heath, air quality, water quality, and business. Lancashire knows only too well the devastating effects of wildfires following a fire on Winter Hill near Bolton in summer 2018, which burned for six weeks and affected 18 square kilometres of moorland. If you cause a wildfire you could face prosecution.

What to do if there’s a wildfire

  • Never use disposable barbecues in Lancashire’s open spaces. Take a picnic instead.

  • Do not light campfires. They can easily get out of control and spread. If not extinguished properly they can smoulder for hours.

  • Take your litter home with you, especially glass bottles which can concentrate the sun’s rays and start a fire. General waste adds to the fuel.

  • Avoid smoking in the countryside. If you do, extinguish your cigarettes thoroughly and take them home with you.

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.

  • Keep children away from lighters and matches.

  • If you live close to woodland or heathland do not burn off garden rubbish during hot weather.

  • Look after Lancashire’s countryside if you are out enjoying the moors, forests or sand dunes.

  • Sign up to receive alerts and information about risks in your area.

  • Follow #lancsalert on social media.

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