To reduce the number of wildfires, a chief fire officer has asked the public to take part in a “voluntary BBQ and bonfire ban” in outdoor areas.
More than twice as many wildfires as normal have been dealt with by the Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service this summer.
According to Chief Fire Officer Jon Le Page, fires and barbecues are illegal on public property without the proper permits.
Because of the expected warm weekend, he said the island was in danger.
Up to this point in the summer of 2022, there have been 37 open fires on Guernsey, compared to just 17 in the previous year.
As with the team in Sark, the Alderney Voluntary Fire Brigade has had to deal with a potentially devastating bush fire.
Mr. Le Page declared, “Today, my message is straightforward. When it’s this hot and dry, I strongly advise against using disposable barbecues and bonfires. We can reduce the danger to our area if we all agree to a voluntary ban on bonfires.
Land, he continued, is “as dry as a tinder box,” and all it takes is “one person acting irresponsibly” to set ablaze a large area.
According to Mr. Le Page, it is illegal to have a fire or barbecue on most publicly owned land on the island (including cliff paths, coastal car parks, and parks) without prior written permission under the Places of Recreation Ordinance (1975).
He cautioned that a repeat of the wildfires along the south coast cliffs in 1976, which took years for the environment to recover from, could happen if people did not take precautions.
Even more so, he would “strongly” urge people to wait for cooler weather before having a fire on private property.
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