Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care when enjoying the outdoors.
The warning comes as temperatures are set to rise once more and with no end in sight to the current dry spell.
Service Group Manager Dave Waters said: “The lack of rain means the ground is really dry, and any fire will spread even more quickly than usual as a result.
"The risk is as great in your garden as it is on a heathland but taking extra care, and perhaps doing things a bit differently to usual, can make a huge difference to staying safe.”
Firefighters are asking the public to follow a list of safety tips:
- Don’t have a bonfire at home while the conditions are so dry. If it’s absolutely necessary, make sure you have a garden hose to hand in case it starts to get out of control. Site it well away from fencing, trees and property. Never use petrol or another accelerant to get it started and don’t leave it unattended.
- Barbecue coals and fire pits stay hot for hours, so douse them with water and don’t dispose of the remnants until you can be absolutely sure they are cold.
- Don’t have barbecues or campfires on heath or in open spaces, as the risk of a fire starting is too great. Barbecues and campfires are banned in many country parks, campsites and open spaces, so make sure you check what is and isn’t allowed where you are, and follow the rules.
- An easy way to stay safe is to #BringAPicnicNotABBQ.
- Extinguish cigarettes properly, and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows. Take your litter home.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, get to a safe place and call 999 to report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Provide as much detail as possible about location - the What3Words or other location apps can help - and wait for help to arrive.
More information about staying safe outdoors can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/safety-outdoors