Hot Weather Causes Severe Fire Risk
The warning comes as the North of the country experiences a continued spell of hot and dry weather, and the Park expresses concerns that more people will visit over the weekend.
Like many countryside areas across the region and the country, increased crowds have recently put strain on the Park and local communities with some people not following social distancing guidelines, lighting barbecues and leaving litter.
Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park says: “When visiting the National Park, people should leave the area in the condition they find it. This also means absolutely no campfires or barbecues in the Park. Discarded litter such as glass can be a source of fire, which can be devastating for our landscape and wildlife, as the recent fire on Simonside has shown.
“We know that many will want to come to the Park in the next few days to enjoy the countryside in the warm weather, and we are urging everyone to be extremely cautious in their visit and follow the advice of our Rangers, volunteers and signs.”
Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue says: “We are in an extended period of very warm, dry weather which means the vegetation can ignite easily and if not dealt with quickly can spread rapidly and cause wildfires which devastate the countryside and present a very significant risk to life and property.
“For now I would urge anyone visiting our beautiful Northumberland countryside and coast to follow all local guidance and notices and not to use portable barbecues unless they are in a purposely designated area, and certainly not to start any campfires.”
As well as the fire on Simonside in April, wildfires have also devastated important habitats and landscapes across the country including the National Forest and the Peak District recently.