Thursday 16 June 2022
The Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service and Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services are reminding people to take particular care during the current dry spell and throughout the summer to avoid preventable fires and help keep everyone safe.
Taking an extra moment to be cautious with fire and think about what you are doing, can help protect our countryside and wildlife habitats from the serious damage a fire can cause.
Extra caution should be given when lighting barbeques and bonfires during periods of dry weather and Islanders are reminded that barbecues are not permitted on grassland or wooded areas.
Martin Lucas, Head of Fire Safety at the Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service said:
"We have recently had some dry and sunny weather conditions, which has been linked to a number incidents that we have been called to. We're experiencing some really lovely weather at the moment, but this has also created some really dry vegetation on hedges, within fields and areas of common land - particularly the south coast cliffs that are exposed to the longest spells of sunlight. As such we have already experienced and attended some outside fires. Of course we all want to go outdoors and enjoy the sun with family and friends, but it is also important to stay fire-aware when out and about.
"With the forecasters predicting some very hot conditions leading into the weekend, we are asking the public to be vigilant and by following these few simple steps we can all help to reduce the chance of a wildfire in our limited countryside."
Islanders are advised to follow these safety Do's & Don'ts:
- Extinguish cigarettes properly. Don't throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows - take your litter home.
- Avoid open fires near vegetation.
- Where possible, landowners should ensure that fire breaks are cut and well maintained on their land, with any cuttings removed and disposed of properly to avoid these drying out and also becoming a fire risk.
- Only use barbeques in a suitable, permitted area and never leave them unattended. Make sure they are fully extinguished after use. In addition:
- Never cook with the gas bottle directly beneath the BBQ.
- Only use approved lighting fuels. Never use petrol as it can ignite quickly and soon get out of control.
- Make sure it is downwind and at least 10 metres away from any buildings or structures.
- Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
If you see a fire, report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Early detection can prevent it from developing into a large wildfire incident. Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water - leave the area as quickly as possible.
This advice comes in addition to promotion of the island's Beach Code, details of which can be found at https://gov.gg/beachbbq. Islanders are reminded that beach barbeques are only permitted on the North and West coast beaches, excluding the Richmond end of Vazon.
The Community Fire Safety team can be contacted on 01481 221111 for more fire safety advice.