FIRE chiefs are advising people planning to enjoy time in the great outdoors this summer to take care to avoid causing wildfires.
Bosses at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service say a period of hot sunshine and warm winds recently means heathland vegetation along the Durham coast is becoming tinder dry.
This is creating conditions that present risks of wildfire occurring, say bosses at the service.
As schools prepare to break up for the summer holidays next month and people take advantage of better weather to get out and about in the countryside the fire and rescue service is issuing advice.
This includes do not light fires, including barbecues, unless in controlled areas, put out cigarettes properly, do not discard items that may cause fire and do not use Chinese or sky lanterns.
If you do see a fire in the countryside report it by phoning 999.