People across Wales are being encouraged to be wildfire aware this spring and summer.

The Wales Wildfire Board has launched a new campaign, urging residents and visitors to commit to outdoor safety precautions to help prevent potentially devastating wildfires.

This advice becomes particularly important as the weather warms, making grass and mountains very dry and susceptible to the rapid spread of wildfires.

Last year, fire services across Wales responded to 1,880 grassfire incidents, a considerable decrease of 45 per cent from the previous year, with deliberate fires dropping by 1,059 (45 per cent) to 1,301.

The Wales Wildfire Board is eager to maintain this downward trend and is working collaboratively with communities to reduce these numbers even further.

The #wildfirewise campaign aims to educate people about the risk of wildfires and how to prevent them.

The initiative encourages individuals to not only enjoy their local areas and the great outdoors but also take responsibility for keeping these spaces safe.

Iwan Cray, chairperson of the Wales Wildfire Board and deputy chief fire officer of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "Our new Wildfire Wise campaign is built on the knowledge and experience partners on the board have gained over the last decade in dealing with the impact of wildfires across Wales.

"We are encouraging all members of our communities to respect our countryside and play their part in safeguarding our environment and keeping our communities safe."

While acknowledging that accidents do happen, Mr. Cray emphasised that many are avoidable with care and respect for the environment.

He also urged anyone with information about deliberate fires, a criminal offence, to report to Crimestoppers or the police to ensure the protection of communities and the environment.

Andrew Wright, deputy chairperson of the Wales Wildfire Board and senior specialist advisor - plant health and knowledge transfer at Natural Resources Wales, echoed these sentiments.

He highlighted the importance of the March 31, 2024 burning date deadline to protect and safeguard the environment.

He urged the farming community to respect this requirement and invited landowners to seek advice on conducting safe, controlled burns that can enrich biodiversity and sustain ecosystems.

To find out more about the campaign, visit Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service website's #WildfireWise page, where safety tips and campaign material are available for download.

If you notice any suspicious activity while enjoying the countryside, please report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or ring 101.

In an emergency, always call 999.