Leicestershire woodlands chiefs in warning over fires

Wildlife officers in Leicestershire are warning people to be on the lookout for fires after the driest April on record.

Mark Graham, wildlife officer for Charnwood Borough Council, said areas of Charnwood Forest and Bradgate Park were particularly at risk of fire.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue, who said about 70% of all fires in the county were started deliberate, urged people to be vigilant.

Visitors to parks and woods were asked to report signs of fire immediately.

"It has been so dry these last few months and at this time of year, there is still lots of dead vegetation from last summer so there is an added risk of fire," said Mr Graham.

"There is a particular risk of heathland fires in some areas where peat can catch fire and can smoulder for weeks, flare up with heavy winds and be very dangerous, particularly for wildlife.

"We're asking people not to light barbecues, not to use any naked flames and be aware that there are idiots around who will purposefully start fires at this time of year."

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