AF&RS sees huge increase in outdoor fires following hot weather

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is raising an important safety message following a period of prolonged dry, hot weather conditions which has led to an increase in outdoor fires.

Throughout July, AF&RS were called to 417 outdoor fires, including grass, trees, bushes and rubbish, compared to just 179 during the same period in 2017- more than a 132 per cent increase.

Despite recent rain, the local countryside is extremely dry and there is still a risk of fire.

Due to this, AF&RS is asking for people to still be cautious and take care in the countryside and open grass areas.

Rob Davis, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for AF&RS, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the nice weather and feel they can have BBQs but there are certain precautions we would like people to take to minimise the risk of fire.

“With the weather set to reach the high 20s again over the weekend, and remain hot and dry for several weeks, we need people to help us in minimising the number of outdoor fires.

“Basic precautions can make a big difference, such as taking your rubbish with you as glass bottles and cigarette ends can easily start fires.

“We’d also like to encourage people not to have garden bonfires until the hot, dry weather has passed. We attended too many incidents last month where a small garden bonfire spread to the whole garden and caused severe damage."

Top safety tips for the countryside and outdoor areas:

  • Avoid open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe, designated areas
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle
  • Don't leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately
  • Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water - leave the area as soon as possible
  • Never throw a cigarette out of a car window - it could start a fire and ruin the surrounding countryside
  • The Countryside Code contains further advice. For more information visit