On Monday 2nd July a large fire occurred at West of England Quarry that required attendance from multiple fire crews from Malvern and surrounding areas. Having brought the fire under control, fire crews had to remain on site for a further 24 hours, guarding against re-ignition. Such wildfires put the public, grazing livestock and nearby residential properties at serious risk, as well as destroying wildlife and habitats on the Hills.
The cause of this particular fire was attributed to the careless use of a disposable barbecue.
Under the MHC byelaws as detailed below, NO FIRES including barbecues are permitted on the hills and commons. Disposable barbecues are a particular problem as they can be windblown and if placed directly on the ground, are highly likely to ignite the vegetation underneath. Careless disposal of hot charcoal is also a major hazard.
Duncan Bridges, CEO of the Trust commented,
‘Whilst the continuing hot weather makes the Hills very attractive for people to visit and have a picnic, people need to be extra vigilant against fire. The risk of wildfires is now at the highest level we have seen for many years.
The message is simple – enjoy a trip to the Hills, but don’t light campfires or drop cigarettes, and leave the barbecue at home.’
The public are also reminded not to release or light any Chinese or sky lanterns.
During the summer months, there is no planned burning on the hills and commons by the Trust. If you do see a fire, please call 999 immediately. Early detection can prevent a fire becoming a much more dangerous, serious, and uncontrollable wildfire.
MHC Byelaw No 3.
No unauthorised person shall light any fire or place or throw or let fall any lighted match, or any substance or thing on the Hills so as to be likely to cause damage by fire to anything growing thereon.