VISITORS to the Malvern Hills are being reminded to be aware of the risk of wildfires.
This summer’s high temperatures and low rainfall has resulted in the drying of vegetation including scrub and grasslands on the hills and commons.
Consequently, this greatly increases the chances of wildfires starting and spreading quickly.
The Malvern Hills Trust is therefore advising people to remain vigilant when out enjoying the warmer weather.
Beck Baker, community and conservation officer, said: “We’re asking people to take a few precautions to reduce the chance of wildfires, for example, extinguishing cigarettes properly and never throwing cigarette ends on the ground or out of the car.”
BBQ’s are not permitted on the Hills and Commons due to the risk they pose for potentially starting wildfires.
Disposable BBQ’s are particularly problematic as they can be windblown and if placed directly on the ground, cause damage to the important grassland vegetation underneath.
The Trust is also asking visitors not to release or light any Chinese or sky lanterns.
Mr Baker added: “Wildfires often don’t start by themselves and the majority of wildfires are started by people either accidentally or deliberately.
“We’re asking people to remain vigilant and act responsibly in the warm, dry weather.”
A fire on the Hills and Commons could put the public, grazing livestock and nearby residential properties at risk.
Fire can also damage the nationally important and scare species and habitats of the Hills.
During the summer months there is no planned burning on the Hills and Commons by the Turst.
Anybody who sees a fire is urged to call the police 999 immediately as early detection can prevent it from becoming much more dangerous, serious and uncontrollable.