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Park fires fear sparks BBQ warning

Park fires fear sparks BBQ warning

Park fires fear sparks BBQ warning

Watford park users have been warned they cannot use barbecues over fears of fires getting out of control.

People who use barbecues in parks nearly always leave behind scorched patches of burned grass that take months to recover and after days of sunshine when ground conditions are dry, it increases the risk of fires getting out of control, according to Watford Borough Council.

On some occasions people have tipped burning hot coals into litter bins and have nearly set them on fire.

All of the above causes nuisance smoke for other park users and fire hazards which include some having to be dealt with by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Over the last year, firefighters were called out to 27 fire-related incidents in Watford parks.

Residents are urged to remain vigilant and call 999 if they see any smouldering as grass fires can quickly get out of control.

Here are some tips on preventing grass fires:

  • Don’t use disposable barbecues at all in public spaces, especially during prolonged hot weather
  • Dispose of smoking materials such as cigarettes and matches safely
  • Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
  • Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires

The council’s  environment spokesman Cllr Tim Williams said: “Abuse of our parks is never acceptable and there is no excuse for it. It is disappointing that these requests are necessary, but I am grateful to the vast majority of people who visit our parks and behave responsibly. Our local parks and open spaces have been a lifeline for many people over the past few months and we will do whatever it takes to protect them.”

To find out more about our parks, visit www.watford.gov.uk/parks

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