Lake District visitors warned about wildfires

Cumbria's chief fire officer has issued a warning to visitors after a spate of wildfires over the past few days.

High temperatures and a lack of significant rainfall has triggered fires near Allonby, Ambleside, Keswick, Staverley and Walney.

On Saturday, rail workers helped firefighters tackle a major grassland blaze near Ravenglass.

Dominic Harrison made special reference to the use of portable barbecues by day visitors to the Lake District fells.

'Best defence'

Mr Harrison said: "There has been very little rain recently and the ground is extremely dry.

"We've had our own wildfires as well as the large wildfires in Lancashire and Northern Ireland which must serve as a warning.

"Over the last couple of years we've purchased new equipment including specially modified Land Rovers to help us.

"But without doubt the best defence against wildfires is prevention and everyone needs to do their part to ensure that fires do not start in the first place.

"People should also be aware that special care is necessary when using disposable barbecues.

"They should ensure that they are set up in a way that cannot cause fire to the surrounding vegetation."

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