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On a grey autumnal day, it can be hard to recall the record breaking temperatures we had last July (2022) across the country and locally. We take a look back at the important work Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) has done since the beginning of the year, with Natural England and our neighbouring colleagues at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFRS).

peatland fire at Hatfield moor

In response to the increase of grassland, moorland and wildfires during the summer of 2022, both Service’s teamed up with Natural England on a six-month period of regular training exercises and meetings to improve awareness and response to wildfires at Humberhead Peatland National Nature Reserve (NNR). The Reserve holds international importance as one of the largest areas of raised bog wilderness in lowland Britain and surrounding areas have been affected by fires during hot and dry summers in recent years.

With a grant provided by Natural England, both Service’s were able to buy specialised equipment tailored for responding to fires at identified areas of moorland and peatland within the vast Humberhead Peatland NNR, which covers South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. Within Humberside’s Service area, this equipment has been tactically placed at Scunthorpe, Crowle, Epworth and Goole Fire Stations to support our response to these fires and to help preserve our local wildlife.

Matt Glew, Watch Manager from Emergency Preparedness and Crew Manager at Epworth Fire Station, talks about how this new equipment and training are vital for the Service’s response; “The significance of the training, new equipment and working with our colleagues at South Yorkshire and Natural England, cannot be underestimated.

baby roe dear receiving oxygen therapy
During the Hatfield Moors fire in 2020, our firefighters saved the life of an orphaned deer kid by reviving it with oxygen

"We thankfully didn’t experience the hot temperatures during the summer holiday period like we have previous years, but we and other Emergency Services feel the impact of heightened demand resulting from warmer summers and wetter winters, we need to be prepared and help protect our natural habitats and the environment.

“The new equipment includes specialised and lightweight hoses, branches and dividers to help firefighters tackle these fires over challenging terrain, where standard equipment may cause damage to wildlife and their habitat. This forms part of the Service’s continual improvement and commitment to protecting its communities through its Community Risk Management Plan.”