FIRE CHIEFS have warned people about the dangers of countryside and barbecue fires.

The better weather means more and more people are now outdoors - but what they do can lead to fire hazard.

Kirklees fire safety manager Steve Rhodes said: "Barbecues, camping and visits to the countryside should be relaxing and enjoyable but people need to be aware of the dangers.

"Last year West Yorkshire's firefighters attended 2,942 grass fires.

"Obviously we want to see this figure reduced, but in order to do that we need the public taking summer safety seriously."

Safety tips include:

* Make sure your barbecue site is flat and well away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs.

* Keep children and pets well away from the cooking area.

* Never put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheeled bin.

* Never use paraffin or petrol to start or revive a barbecue.

* Only use recognised lighters or starter fuel on cold coals.

* Change gas cylinders in the open air.

* When camping ensure tents are kept at least six metres apart.

* Find out what firefighting arrangements on the campsite are and the nearest telephone.

* Keep a torch handy for emergencies. Never use a naked flame.

* In the countryside never throw out of car windows.

* Avoid using open fires.

* Don't leave bottles or glass in woodland - sunlight shining through glass can start fires.