A WILDFIRE warning has been issued across the South East as dry conditions are forecast to continue into the bank holiday weekend.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have called on the public to take extra care in the countryside, after the latest figures from the Environment Agency show that April was the sunniest on record.

On average, there were 24 dry days last month, with the medium-range forecast predicting a prolonged spell of above-average sunshine and below-average rainfall.

It comes as firefighters across the county have been forced to deal with several fires in the open lately.

As previously reported, crews were called out multiple times last week to Yateley Common after gorse caught alight, whilst crews from Hampshire were drafted in for support following a massive wildfire in Dorset's Wareham Forest.

The CLA's Regional Director, Michael Valenzia, said: “Wildfires can have significant impacts, on communities as well as scarring the landscape and destroying wildlife, and we appeal to the public to be extra vigilant when out and about in the countryside.

“Please take litter home, use common sense and keep an eye out.”

Rob Gazzard, Chair of the South East of England Wildfire Group (SEEWG) said: “If you find a wildfire please call 999, tell the operator of your location and relevant details, await the Fire and Rescue Services at an agreed entrance point and observe coronavirus guidance.”

Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities.

Wildfires can be prevented by not discarding cigarettes or other smouldering material. Quite often bottles and shards of glass can spark a fire.