New van designs help tackle moorland fires

UU and DFRS with van

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service and United Utilities have unveiled two wrapped community Safety Vehicles that will help raise awareness of the FireStoppers initiative and help prevent fires on moorland.

Launched earlier this year, the FireStoppers initiative aims to help reduce the number of deliberate fires across the county by providing an anonymous way for members of the public to share with the fire service any information they may have on deliberate fire setting.

The newly wrapped vans which are used by Community Safety Officers in the Peak District will feature a FireStoppers message on one side, and on the other, moorland fire prevention messages reminding people what steps they can take to avoid an accidental or reckless fire in the open.

Station Manager Darren Perrott said: “In 2019/20 firefighters responded to 874 deliberate fires across Derbyshire which not only had a social and environmental impact on our local communities, but also tied up our resources which may have been needed for life threatening incidents such as house fires and road traffic collisions.

“We hope that by working with our partners United Utilities to wrap the Community Safety Vehicles we can continue to raise awareness of the FireStoppers initiative and in turn, reduce the number of deliberate fires we’re called to attend in Derbyshire.”

United Utilities’ Estates and Land Manager Ross Evans said wildfires were becoming an increasing threat to the region’s diverse and much-loved landscapes:

“Whether it’s a deliberate act or carelessness, the damage these fast-spreading fires inflict on moorlands and wildlife is immeasurable and takes years to recover.

“We have the honour of being custodians of some of the North West’s most beautiful places and we work hard to protect and improve them for the benefit of everyone.

“But every year our wardens find spent BBQs and other evidence of fires. People don’t realise the risks they’re taking. We really hope these new liveried vans will help spread that message. Don’t light fires. It’s not worth the risk. The conditions up here are totally different, you’re a long way from help and a spark can spread metres in seconds. Have a sandwich, enjoy the view and leave the moors as you found them.”

United Utilities has created a video about the danger of wildfires for a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks. You can see it here

For more information about Derbyshire FireStoppers visit the website, or follow on social media @DerbyshireFRS.