HAMPSHIRE residents have been asked to take care this weekend after an Amber Wildfire alert was issued.

Temperatures as high as 22C are expected on Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12, according to the Met Office.

The dry and warm conditions increase the chances of fires in the open spreading out of control, with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) urging caution.

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Larry Mackrell, wildfire lead at HIWFRS, said: “Barbecues, campfires and bonfires can very easily spread out of control and drier, warmer weather increases the risk of wildfires, so it really is vital that people take extra care when visiting our beauty spots and green spaces.

“Fires in the open can cause significant damage to our woods, heaths and countryside. We all want to be able to enjoy being outdoors and a few simple steps can reduce the risk of fire.

Hampshire Chronicle: A fire engineA fire engine (Image: NQ)

“Always discard of cigarettes properly, put litter and glass bottles in a bin or take your rubbish home, and please pack a picnic, not a disposable barbecue.”

The public has been urged not to discard cigarettes in the countryside, and to instead make sure they are completely extinguished and disposed of properly.

Glass bottles and any broken glass should be cleaned away properly to ensure they do not magnify the sun and cause any fires.

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Extra care is advised when using a barbeque, with residents reminded to only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using the facilities provided, and to not leave any barbeques or campfires unattended.

Barbeques and campfires should also be extinguished properly.

The fire service also asks that residents speak to young people about the dangers of playing with and lighting fires.

Any information about illegal fire-setting activities and those responsible should be reported to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If people come across a fire, they are asked to report it to HIWFRS immediately.