News: August 2018

Date posted: 13/08/18

Letter to The Journal re Wildfires


Dear Sir,

I found your article on wildfire (Tues 27/7) most interesting and pertinent, if rather alarmist. However, you did miss the opportunity to highlight the efforts of the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) in the field of preventing and fighting wildfires.

Over 10 years ago, NFRS recognised the increasing risk of wildfires and that there was room for improvement in its response to such fires. Therefore, it appointed dedicated Wildfire Officers and ensured that they learnt from the best. They worked with fire services in southern Europe as well as local upland land managers who burn vegetation on a regular basis.

NFRS is now the lead Fire Service for wildfire in England. It is a key contributor to the England & Wales Wildfire Forum and provides training to Fire Services across the country. When required, it will also send specialists to provide expert advice at major incidents.

Here in Northumberland, it underpins the Northumberland Fire Group, which I Chair. The Fire Group seeks to reduce the incidence of wildfires by raising awareness of the dangers, whilst also ensuring the best possible response from the NFRS, other public agencies and, crucially, upland farmers and gamekeepers who have intimate knowledge of the terrain and specialist equipment on site.

Although there can be no guarantee of no wildfires breaking out in this period of extreme risk, I can vouch that the Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service has done its utmost to protect our landscapes, environment and public from the devastating effects of wildfire. However, we do need everybody to do their bit to avoid any sort of fire in the countryside and to remain vigilant and report any fires they do see via 999.


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