A FIRE authority has launched a public consultation over its long-term strategy to “tackle climate change” and manage its resources amid an expected rise in extreme weather.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority is developing a new Environmental Sustainability Strategy as it looks to reduce its impact on the environment, while adapting its emergency response and prevention work to meet the challenges of more frequent natural events such as flooding and grassland fires.

The authority, which has an annual budget of more than £35million to cover costs including 900 staff, 44 fire stations and 54 fire engines, will also review its corporate responsibilities as it predicts an increased demand on its resources.

The consultation is asking for the views of residents in North Wales on changes that the authority could make over the next 20 to 30 years.

Cllr Peter Lewis, chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We are very proud of what the fire and rescue service has already achieved in terms of its environmental policies, but we recognise that we need to continue to do more.

“If you have an interest in the future of the fire and rescue service, then this consultation is aimed at you - you don’t need to be an expert in environmental issues to respond.”

According to the Civil Contingencies Act, the fire service must respond to large scale events that could threaten serious damage to the welfare of people, wildlife, the environment and primary supply chains. It also has duties for mass decontamination of people after chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

In hot dry years, outdoor fires are more prevalent while in cold wet years it is more usual to see an increase in chimney fires, flooding and storm events.

In 2011, the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority set up its Sustainability Development Board to drive down its energy consumption and in 2013 improved its consumption of fuel, utilities and resources, management of waste and promotion of biodiversity.

In 2019, the Welsh Government announced plans for a carbon neutral public sector by 2050.

For more information and to take part, visit the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority website and complete the consultation questionnaire.

Responses must be submitted by the deadline on December 31.

The authority will publish its final 2020-21 Improvement and Well-being Plan by March next year.