A burning issue!
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I must admit I’ve been slightly distracted from writing my reptile blog this week, after witnessing a huge wildfire, and the aftermath, at Chobham Common earlier in the week. Covering such a large area, it’s likely that many reptiles didn’t escape the fire and have perished. Wildfires at this time of year can have devastating consequences for heathland wildlife, with reptiles emerging from hibernacula, and ground nesting birds such as woodlark already laying eggs.
It’s extremely important to be vigilant on the heaths. If you see a fire, get on the phone immediately and call 999. Never assume that someone else has rung. I saw for myself this week, just how quickly a wildfire can spread. The one at Chobham Common was small when we reported it, but ended up requiring 70 firefighters, 10 fire engines and 19 specialist vehicles to bring it under control, brought in from Surrey, Hampshire, London and West Sussex. So be wildfire aware, and please help us protect lives and precious habitat by knowing what to do if you see a heathland fire. If you’re not sure what to do, check out our advice on reporting and preventing fires.