Firefighters are warning smokers to watch out after a discarded cigarettes sparked two 999 calls in Northamptonshire.
A 41-year-old man needed treatment from paramedics following a fire spread to fencing and trees, damaging electrical wiring in an external building at around 11pm on Monday night in Malabar Fields, Daventry
And last night (Tuesday), crews rushed to Grove Street, Raunds, following a similar call. This time the fire had already been mostly put out, but not before it damaged fencing and garden furniture.
The county has seen rain on just four days out of the last month and the last significant rainfall was on March 26, according to the Met Office weather station at Pitsford School.
And Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue says that has left the county's gardens and open spaces tinderbox dry, raising the risk of more fires outdoors.
"Bright weather and dry ground increase the risk of wildfires. Wildfires can be devastating for both local communities and wildlife. Make sure cigarette ends are fully extinguished and dispose of them properly. Don't throw them on the ground or from car windows.
"Also, as lockdown eases and we meet up with friends and family in open spaces, discarded litter increases the risk of wildfires — not only causing damage, a risk to life and nature but also takes up a lot of our time.
"Please discard of litter and cigarettes properly — or even better take them home with you!"
Crews took more than three hours to tackle Monday's blaze in Daventry and believe it was started by a discarded cigarette end.
Fire prevention officers say that quitting smoking is the best way to remove fire risk and there is plenty of free help available via the NHSbut for those who do not wish to give up, these simple steps can help prevent a cigarette fires.
■ If you are out and about, remember to "put it out, put it right out" — extinguish cigarettes fully before discarding them.
■ Always make sure cigarettes are disposed of away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
■ If you're having friends round in the garden, keep a bucket of water, sand or dirt handy to dispose cigarettes safely.
■ Do not empty hot cigarette ends into dustbins or wheelie bins — they can melt plastic and start a fire. Wait till they are all cold.
■ Don’t throw cigarettes out of car windows when driving as it can start fires on verges or in nearby fields.
■ If you see a fire in the countryside, please call 999.