ANYBODY passing Hale Community Centre last Friday afternoon may have noticed emergency response vehicles, fire engines, uniformed staff and dogs at the Fire Outdoors event.

With the summer holidays fast approaching, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, along with other agencies and blue-light colleagues, visited the centre to urge people to take extra care following a rise in the number of outdoor fires they’ve been called to.

They offered advice and support to the community on how to keep themselves and the countryside safe from fire.

Blue Watch Farnham Commander Chrissie Cooper said the event was organised to inform and educate the public about reducing the number of outdoor fires – both deliberate and accidental – the service attends in the warmer months.

She said: “We want everyone to have fun and enjoy the nice weather, but it is important to stay fire aware when out and about to ensure we can minimise the risk of fire.

“Basic precautions can make a big difference, such as taking your rubbish home with you as glass bottles and cigarette ends can easily start fires.

“We’d also like to encourage people not to have garden bonfires until the hot, dry weather has passed. We attend too many incidents where a small garden bonfire spreads to the whole garden and causes severe damage.”

Fire Outdoors was held just days before Farnham Fire Station took to Facebook to raise awareness of bonfires at Bourne Woods.

The online post stated that last Sunday morning both wildfire appliances had attended “another bonfire in the open this morning at Bourne Woods in Tilford.

“This is the third time this week in the same spot we have attended,” it said.