Wild fires

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Every year, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) attend many gorse/vegetation fires that are also known as wild fires. 

Last year the number of wildfires in Cornwall increased by 80% compared with the previous year and there were on average almost two wildfires per week.

If you are going to do a controlled burn on your land, read this first: Heather and grass burning: rules and applying for a licence. If you don’t follow the rules for burning grass or heather you can be prosecuted and fined. 

CFRS Service invites responsible parties, who may be considering controlled burning to:

  1. Put in place an effective burn plan.
  2. Inform Critical Control Centre of intended burns, by calling 0203 162 2240.
  3. Draw upon CFRS Service knowledge.
  4. Make use of limited fire and rescue service resources i.e. beaters, Landrover crew to observe specific burns.  

Download our arson prevention poster for use around your land if fires are being started deliberately.

Help protect the countryside

Fires in the countryside can easily be started accidentally, or even deliberately. A carelessly discarded cigarette can lead to a huge fire, where the results to the wildlife can be devastating, so please follow this code and help to keep Cornwall's countryside free from fire.

  • Do not discard cigarettes in the countryside.
  • Do not leave glass items around after a picnic or barbecue.  Put them in the bin. Remember the fire safety information on Barbecues.
  • Only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using the facilities provided.
  • Fires must be built at least 10m downwind from vegetation, tents and caravans.
  • Clear a patch of bare earth to build the fire on.
  • Ensure the fire collapses inwards when it burns.
  • Do not leave it unattended.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin on a fire.
  • Do not put batteries, aerosols or other gas cylinders on the fire.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately.
  • Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible.

Irresponsible behaviour

Anyone with information on fires being deliberately started in the countryside are advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers free on 0800 555 111 or contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 with information.

Arson puts both the public and firefighters at unnecessary risk. It ties up resources that could be in demand for other more serious incidents.

A lot of Cornwall is covered by on-call firefighters, so there's also a significant cost to each incident. Visit the Crimestoppers website.

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service