By: Blonde Two
How exactly did Two Blondes end up flagging down a fire appliance on Dartmoor last weekend? Well… We have all been aware of the hill fires that have been raging in the north of England and our thoughts go to all those affected and fighting these fires but do you know what to do if you spot a fire yourself when you are out walking in the hills? We Blondes weren’t sure until Saturday when we spotted some smoke and then some pretty high flames in a hedge on the roadside between Dartmeet and Dunnabridge. Dartmoor fires are a thing to be taken seriously, especially in the middle of a heatwave, when the moor is tinder dry.
We knew that steps needed to be taken but the fire wasn’t huge, it wasn’t putting anyone in immediate danger and ‘999’ seemed like a very big number. We initially phoned the police non-emergency number for advice, who told us, in no uncertain terms, to ‘hang up immediately, dial 999’ and ask for fire. So we did (or rather Blonde One did) and, because we always have a Dartmoor map to hand and know how to locate ourselves and give a grid reference, were able to give an accurate description of both the fire and the location.
We returned to the location of the fire (passing the fire appliance on the way) and realised that the fire crew had been unable to locate the fire because it had burnt itself out. A phone call from the fire crew led to us being asked to flag them down at the location as they drove back up the road so that is exactly what we did (very stylishly in our matching Two Blondes polo shirts).
We were relieved when the crew confirmed that the fire was indeed out but also quietly relieved that we hadn’t imagined the whole thing and wasted their time. Apparently, we had done exactly the right thing, the fire had been in a gorse bush, had covered an area of 5 metres and could, very easily, have set the cut hay in the next field alight. Once that was all established and our minds put to rest, we did what any Blonde would do in the circumstances… and asked for a selfie with the crew!
There are two morals to this tale of Blonde adventure…
- If you see something urgent that needs doing, don’t assume that someone else will do it.
- Learn to read a map and have the ability to give vital information in an emergency.
We were, as it happens, on our way to one of our navigation workshops…
We told you navigation was important!