Avoid picnic BBQs this weekend say firefighters

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS) Fire Safety Manager, Chris Barber, said: “As we all know we’ve had a prolonged hot and dry spell which shows no sign of letting up over the weekend. The wind is also set to pick up which means if a wildfire takes hold the chances are it will be intense and likely to spread rapidly.

“So our advice is to avoid having a picnic BBQ this weekend unless it’s in a designated safe area.

“So far we’ve been lucky in Oxfordshire and have managed to contain incidents in the county but our firefighters have twice been called in to assist with larger wildfires near Maidenhead and Marlow.

“Large wildfires are thankfully rare but, when they do occur, they take a great deal of resources to bring under control 60 firefighters were needed for the Marlow job. The damage to local wildlife can also be significant.”

The OFRS has the following advice for enjoying the outdoors safely:

  • Avoid open fires and picnic BBQs in the countryside. If you have a fire, make sure that you’re in a designated safe area and you have at least two large bottles of water on hand.
  • Put out cigarettes properly before you leave your vehicle
  • Do not throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle. They could start a fire and destroy surrounding countryside
  • Site bonfires well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures. Have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control. Better still wait until we’ve had some rain.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire or BBQ
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in the countryside, as sunlight shining through the glass can cause a fire to start
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Do not try to tackle a fire yourself; usually they can’t be put out with a bucket of water. Please call the fire service and leave the area as soon as possible
  • Ensure that you know your location or a landmark so you can direct the fire service

For more information visit http://www.365alive.co.uk/cms/content/countryside-fires-0