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Unprecedented February temperatures put countryside at high fire risk

27th February 2019

Photograph of Unprecedented February temperatures put  countryside at high fire risk

A warning from NFU Mutual.

Unprecedented warm dry winter weather is putting the UK countryside at high risk of devastating fires, warns NFU Mutual.

The leading rural insurer is concerned that the current record high February temperatures and dry countryside mean there is a high risk or moor and farm land fires, putting lives at risk and costing millions of pounds in damage to farm animals, wildlife, buildings and machinery.

"This week's fires on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, Arthurs Seat close to Edinburgh, and the Long Mynd in Shropshire are a stark warning of the damage fires can cause in dry conditions - even in winter," said Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist.

"In many parts of the country, it's been the warmest February on record and the land is so dry that discarded matches and cigarette ends thrown down from cars can easily start a fire.

"While the record temperatures are forecast to end soon, the countryside looks set to remain unseasonably dry and at risk of fire."

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