WITH the temperature increasing and the wind (unfortunately) not calming, Islanders are being reminded to take precautions with beach barbecues.
Jersey entered an ‘absolute drought’ earlier in the week, and while Jersey Met’s fire severity index is currently low at Level 2, the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service has reminded Islanders of the potential risks of furze fires, given the current dry conditions and strong winds.
Station commander Ryan Hall said: ‘This extended period of dry weather and the continuing windy conditions are significant factors that can spread what starts as a small fire into wildfires.’
He added: ‘The impacts of wildfires are damaging not only to our beautiful countryside, but to the wildlife and the environment.
‘As we head into the summer months, we’d like to remind Islanders about the risks of fires from disposable barbecues.’
Mr Hall advised Islanders to always use barbecues on a stable, non-flammable surface and never leave them unattended.
He also urged any beachgoers to make sure that these are fully extinguished by pouring water or sand onto them, andnot disposing of them until they are completely cooled.
‘Every year we respond to many incidents where people have disposed of barbecues in bins which have caught alight and have placed buildings and other Islanders in danger,’ he said.
‘When using them on the beach, be aware of scorching sand underneath as barbecues stay hot for hours after use and it’simpossible to tell how hot the sand is where the barbecue has been resting.
‘Never bury them in the sand and leave them as they may be accidentally stepped on, causing severe burns,’ he added.
During last year’s spell of ‘absolute drought’ in August, St Ouen residents had to use garden hoses to stop a wildfire spreading, thereby preventing a ‘potentially horrendous disaster’ amid the tinder-dry conditions.
At that time, a number of supermarkets stopped selling disposable barbecues in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires.