A FIRE safety plea ahas been made as thousands head to the dry countryside over Bank Holiday weekend.

Leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual, is making a plea for people visiting the countryside over the Bank Holiday weekend to take care not to start fires in tinder dry conditions.

Following an exceptionally dry spring, many parts of the UK countryside are at high risk of fires started by dropped cigarettes, barbecues and campfires, the insurer warns. Dry and windy conditions this weekend mean that fires could also quickly spread.

These fires can add pressure to highly-stretched emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic while putting wildlife and farm animals at risk.

Recent moorland and grass fires have caused serious damage to wide areas of the countryside.

NFU Mutual Countryside Fire checklist of the do’s and don’ts for the bank holiday.

  • Don’t drop used matches or cigarettes.
  • Don’t start campfires or use disposable barbecues on grass or moorland.
  • Call 999 if you spot a grassland or moorland fire while out in the countryside
  • Avoid parking in narrow country lanes where emergency services vehicle access could be blocked.
  • Don’t drop litter – discarded bottles can focus sunlight and start a fire.
  • Follow national and local coronavirus rules.
  • Keep to footpaths when walking in the countryside.

Information about safety is available from NFU Mutual’s website: nfumutual.co.uk