It’s taken thousands of years to create the unique habitats that we have in the United Kingdom, a WILDFIRE can destroy your countryside in hours.
Very few people are involved in setting fires of this nature. However, when they are started the individuals are unaware of how fast a heath fire can grow out of control.
They may also be unaware of how much damage wildfires cause, and the dangers they pose for fire-fighters and land management staff when they are fighting the resulting fire.
We would ask all members of the public during the summer months to act responsibly when using Surrey’s Woods & Heathland by not having camp fires or BBQ in unauthorised areas, discarding smoking materials responsibly, and assisting the Fire & Rescue Services by being our eyes and ears during the summer months and reporting any fires you see.
Wildfires can cause long lasting damage to the environment by destroying natural habitats and historic landscapes, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and creating water pollution. The financial consequences can be significant, including lost income from shooting or timber crops, to damage to property or the consequential effects on local tourism. In addition, fire and rescue services are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the resilience issues created by a wildfire.
You would be surprised who’s affected by wildfire. As well as directly affecting all those who use the countryside for leisure, when wildfires occur it can affect Business, Wildlife, Transport, Lives, Ecology, Ecomony.
Please help Surrey Fire & Rescue Service to keep you all safe this summer by looking after your countryside.
Move to a safe area and contact the local land manager if possible.
A Wildfire Volunteer assists Surrey Fire and Rescue by delivering outdoor fire safety information to members of the public, and also acting as an early warning system for fires, reporting them in a timely manner.
Our volunteers educate other users of the common on fire risks and how to report a Wildfire.
A Wildfire Volunteer can be any user of the common, a dog walker, horse rider, or rambler, all we ask is that you hand out literature and give basic outdoor fire awareness advice to others whilst out enjoying the commons.
Because of the devastating effect of fire the penalties for deliberate fire setting (Arson), are severe.
Arson, in particular Arson
with intent to endanger life or where the act was reckless, carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Do not try and tackle the fire yourself Call 999 & request the fire service.
Give an accurate location of the fire:
Names of the nearest road
Visible land marks (pubs, farms, power lines etc)
Locally known names
Map grid reference (Ordinance Survey ideally or A to Z)
If the fire is in a remote area please meet emergency services at the access
point to guide them to the location.
Don’t discard cigarettes
Never leave BBQ unattended
Don’t have BBQs in unauthorised areas
Don’t start camp fires out on the commons
Don’t discard rubbish particularly reflective materials
Don’t burn off garden rubbish during hot periods if you live close to woodland or heathland
Don’t have bonfires on hot days or during prolonged periods of dry weather
Of course we work with a number of partner agencies to actively care for our outdoor environment.