Country fires warning

A firefighter puts out a grass fire caused during the Summer heatwave|Add photo caption or leave blank|Add photo caption or leave blank|Add photo caption or leave blank

A fire officer has urged the Shropshire public to take extra care during the Summer heatwave in the wake of 100 outdoor fires in the past week.

Firefighters have attended callouts to fires raging in gorse, heather, hedges, woodland, bushes, grass and fields across the county.

Five grass fires were dealt with during one call in Whitchurch Drive, Telford, while heather and gorse has set on fire on the Longymnd in Church Stretton and woodland reported ablaze at the High Rock, Bridgnorth. There have been grass fires at Telford town park, a compost heap fire went out of control at The Mount, Shrewsbury, and trees set alight.

"We have seen an increase in the number of fires," said Community Fire Safety Officer John Round.

"The dry weather always brings an increase in fires and this year is worse than most because of the high levels of sunshine."

Grass and undergrowth were particularly at risk as well as bonfires going out of control.

"It is important that people take extra care during these long periods of dry weather." The golden rules are:

Don't throw cigarettes or matches out of a car window

Ensure cigarettes are properly put out when walking in the countryside

Ensure bonfires are well away from hedges and fences and have a hosepipe or bucket of water close by just in case

"By taking a little extra care we can continue to enjoy the countryside and stay safe," added Mr Round.

18th July, 2006