Fire crews have warned people to stay safe in the hot weather after dealing with hundreds of fires this summer.
Figures released by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service show that between June 17 and July 17 firefighters tackled nine large fires in the open and 309 small fires in the open.
On top of that, crews were called out to two rescues from water and 62 building fires, as well as 239 automatic fire alarms. In total, the fire service received 2,032 calls over the month, with 1,577 fire engines sent out to 851 incidents.
Group Commander Kevin Napier added: “In the last month or so, our Combined Fire Control has received more than 2,000 calls to incidents in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
“Many of these have been to fires in the open, such as forest, stack and crop fires.
“As we saw with the moorland fires recently these can quickly spread and burn for days, which require a significant amount of firefighting resources.”
Group Commander Kevin Napier, head of community fire safety, said there were a number of things residents could do to prevent fires from spreading.
He said: “High temperatures and dry areas of land can be perfect conditions for a fire to spread. Something as simple as not stubbing a cigarette out properly, or using a disposable barbecue on grass, can start a fire that can develop quickly.”
The fire service has issued seven steps to help prevent an outdoor fire:
1. Ensure cigarettes are completely out.
2. Do not throw cigarettes out of car windows onto grass verges or vegetation.
3. Put disposable barbecues on bricks, do not place directly on grass.
4. Do not leave glass bottles lying on the ground, the sun’s rays reflect through the glass and can start a fire.
5. When camping, do not leave campfires unattended and make sure it is completely out before you leave it.
6. Use barbecues on a hard, flat surface, away from grass, shrubs or fencing.
7. Talk to your children about the dangers of starting a fire.
Group Commander Napier added: “We always see an increase in calls to fires during spells of hot weather. This does result in our crews spending significant time at incidents that could be avoided, which is why we are urging residents across the county to follow our simple tips to help avoid accidentally needing us to extinguish their fire.”