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Public warned to take care with barbecues in dry weather

09 July 2010

The public are being asked to take extra care when disposing of cigarettes or having bonfires or barbecues following the recent hot weather.

On Wednesday 7 July 2010 Jersey Fire and Rescue Service attended a furze fire that had broken out on the headland at Ouaisne Common. On arrival at the scene, the crews were met with a well established fire that was quickly spreading across the headland. At the height of the incident 2 firefighting appliances and one specialised bulk water carrier were present, manned by 16 firefighters who worked for several hours to control the fire and safeguard the protected trees in the area.

The fire was brought under control by 1.30am at which time the incident was scaled down and the damping down operations began. Initial investigations carried out at the scene suggest that the fire was started accidentally. This is the second incident involving open land fires that the fire service has dealt with recently; they were also called to an area of burning furze apparently caused by the careless discarding of a barbecue.

Station Manager Baudains said "The hedgerows and furze are very dry, and at present time there is a high risk of fires starting. I would urge all Islanders to be vigilant and take extra care when disposing of cigarettes or having bonfires or barbecues.

"When a fire occurs in the countryside, the implications for the Fire and Rescue Service are significant. We have a limited number of firefighters and these types of fires require us to commit large numbers of our resources for days at a time. Although we are equipped to deal with these types of incident, it can stretch our resources to the maximum, so our aim is to prevent fires before they start."


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