Isle of Wight Council

11 Aug 2022

Fire risk during dry weather

With temperatures rising and a local hosepipe ban in place, our countryside, parks and gardens across the Island are extremely dry. This significantly increases the risk of fires.

With this in mind, the Isle of Wight Council has placed a temporary ban on the use of the barbeque facility at Fort Victoria to minimise the risk of accidental fires there. Disposable barbeques should also not be used in parks or on beaches.

“Maintaining the health and welfare of Islanders and visitors is vital during this extended period of hot and dry weather” says Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet member for environment.

“Please avoid using disposable barbecues or lighting bonfires while the ground is so dry! We’ve seen a lot of fires in the last couple of weeks that could have been avoided, that have put pressure on our local fire services and caused significant damage to local areas.”

Disposable barbecues are considered a particularly high-risk item as they are often placed directly onto flammable dry grass or sometimes disposed of unsafely. This can also cause fires in bins or refuse collection vehicles.

HIWFRS Group Manager for the Isle of Wight, Jeff Walls, said:
“Lots of us are currently enjoying the warmer weather, however these conditions increase the risk of wildfires across the Isle of Wight. 

“Our crews have already been busy this summer tackling fires involving large parts of our countryside, fires which could easily be avoided. 

“Barbecues, campfires and inappropriately discarded rubbish can spark wildfires that spread rapidly, causing huge amounts of damage, so we all need to do our bit and protect our wildlife.” 

There are a number of ways that those spending time in the countryside can help reduce the risk of a wildfire:
• Pack a picnic instead of using a disposable barbecue
• Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
• Do not discard cigarettes in the countryside; dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished
• Anyone coming across a fire in the countryside should dial 999 and give an exact location, if possible by using What3Words

If using barbecues at home, please ensure coals and ash are completely cold before being disposed of to avoid any risk of bin or refuse collection vehicle fires.

Fires also release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere which contribute to climate change.

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Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service attending an incident in the West Wight
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Factfile
  • With temperatures rising and a local hosepipe ban in place, our countryside, parks and gardens across the Island are extremely dry. This significantly increases the risk of fires.
  • Isle of Wight Council has placed a temporary ban on the use of the barbeque facility at Fort Victoria to minimise the risk of accidental fires there.
  • Disposable barbeques should also not be used in parks or on beaches
 
Isle of Wight, UK