Residents urged not to have bonfires after local fire service receives almost 70 calls since beginning of July

    Bucks Fire and Rescue

    Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue have attended 68 bonfires since the beginning of July.

    The fire service that looks after Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire say that it has received calls to 68 bonfires since the 1st July.

    Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue are now urging residents to save their bonfires until the cooler weather.

    "You only have to look out of the window to know how dry the grassland, verges, hedgerows and fields are following the unusually hot dry weather. Unfortunately, this means that there is a real risk of fire starting from human behaviour and impacting on property and others," A spokesperson for the fire service said.

    "Milton Keynes has the benefit of numerous parks and green space, the prolonged high temperatures have led to this becoming tinder dry, with the resulting impact being that any fire has the potential to spread really quickly.

    "Sadly, areas such as the Blue Lagoon nature reserve have been impacted recently by discarded rubbish either catching light accidentally or being deliberately set light to.

    "Glass bottles left in vegetation can focus sunlight, prompting smouldering. Coals in disposable barbecues take a long time to cool down and should not be left to burn out."

    In June, The Parks Trust banned BBQs from any of their sites, due to increasing public safety risks.

    READ MORE: The Parks Trust bans BBQs from Milton Keynes parks due to increasing risks to public safety and environment

    A Bucks Fire spokesperson said: "Whilst landowners like The Parks Trust proactively manage their land, short grass and hedgerows can still burn when cigarettes or glass bottles are dropped on them."

    Emberton Country Park is also a picnic only park, with barbecues only prohibited on site only for those in the camping area.

    "Since 1 July 2022, Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has been called to 68 bonfires at a time when there has been a number of large-scale incidents, including a major incident being declared due to the exceptionally high demand.

    "We are therefore asking you to not have bonfires during times of extreme heat. Consider the potential impact of bonfires, barbecues and discarded rubbish starting a fire that may spread and damage the area you were enjoying."

    Residents are being asked to consider:

    • Taking a picnic not a barbecue on a day out and taking all rubbish home with you. If you can carry it there, you can carry it home
    • Thinking twice before discarding cigarettes, especially from car windows where you cannot see what might develop. Ideally extinguish them in water.
    • How tinder dry everything is. If you must have a barbecue, bonfire, or woodburner, don’t do so on grass that can easily catch light
    • If you choose to have a barbecue or bonfire at home, have a hose and buckets of water to hand – the water pressure from a standard hose may not be sufficient to extinguish a bonfire spreading to grass
    • Not leaving a barbecue, bonfire or woodburner to burn out – when everything you want to burn has done so, extinguish the embers with water and turn them over to check that there is no potential for them to continue to smoulder.

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