Firefighters thanked for hard work as heatwave fire safety advice is issued

Alistair Burt

Alistair Burt - Credit: Archant

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt has praised the county’s firefighters as the heatwave continues to pose a constant fire hazard for rural areas.

Multiple crews attended two field fires in Roxton. Picture: Beds Fire and Rescure Service

Multiple crews attended two field fires in Roxton. Picture: Beds Fire and Rescure Service - Credit: Archant

There have been a number of field fires across the county, including two in one afternoon in Roxton last week.

Crews from Biggleswade, Sandy and Potton helped extinguish the blaze, and Mr Burt has thanked them for their work.

“I am immensely grateful for everything that our local Stations at Sandy, Potton, Harrold and Biggleswade are doing in such difficult conditions,” he said.

“We must all do as much as we can to reduce the risks of rural fires occurring.

“During this prolonged spell of hot, dry weather I would like to remind constituents to take extra care when they are enjoying the countryside and to be vigilant if they spot anything concerning.”

To help prevent rural fires, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue have issued the following tips.

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• Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground.

• Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.

• Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires. Take them home and recycle them.

• Take your litter home.

• Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area, and do not leave them unattended.

• Avoid using open fires in the countryside. Always have them in a safe designated area.

• If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately.

• Do not attempt to tackle fires that cannot be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

• If you can, prepare for the arrival of the fire and rescue service at the pre-arranged meeting point, by unlocking gates for example.

The first fire at Roxton engulfed 200 hectares of standing crop, with the second fire setting 40 hectares alight, just three hours apart.

There was also a fire in a Biggleswade field off Potton Road more than a fortnight ago, which was deemed to have started accidentally during a crop harvest.

A field fire near Knebworth required five fire engines to put out, with an area of 100m by 100m set alight.