Many people seem to support having a barbecue where there’s a risk of a grass fire (Picture: @MillfieldsUG/Metro.co.uk/Facebook)
The story of a couple who decided to barbecue on the the site of a large grass fire which had only just been extinguished has understandably got a lot of attention.
We reported yesterday that volunteers who care for Millfields Park in Hackney were upset to see the two ignoring the rule banning barbecues in the tinderbox conditions.
But it seems many Metro readers don’t agree, with many people commenting on Facebook underneath the story to say they saw nothing wrong with their actions.
‘So not problem with that there adults they no what there doing [sic],’ one woman commented.
Another claimed: ‘I’m sure if the authorities told some people to stop breathing they would.’
Another said: ‘If the grass has already been burned it should be quite safe.’
But replying, some pointed out that the grass where they were barbecuing in London was not in fact burned, so they risked starting the fire yet again and having it spread in a different direction.
Orchard fire in South Millfields park this afternoon. All the care and commitment of growing, planting, and looking after these trees over many years can be wiped out in a few minutes by someoneâ€™s carelessness. pic.twitter.com/0xAVINmy2o
— Tree Musketeers (@TM_Hackney) July 16, 2022
Others said that in fact many fires are caused by adults who do not ‘know what they’re doing’, such as from people dropping cigarettes, or indeed from using barbecues – hence why they are banned in many council parks and during very hot weather.
‘A lot of wildfires are caused by adults not using their common sense and starting fires with BBQs, dropping matches, partaking in attention seeking baby gender reveals and so on,’ a woman wrote.
‘Some adults really don’t know what they are doing hence why things go wrong.’
Although it is not known what caused the fire on July 16, the section of the park has been victim to arson attacks in the past and because of the heatwave the latest fire spread quickly.
Whatever the weather, barbecues are banned in all council-run parks in Hackney, including Millfields.
A volunteer group known as the Millfields User Group shared the photo in a tweet following the fire that had been put out only hours before the picture was taken.
They said: ‘Can’t believe this…. South Millfields orchard was on fire this afternoon and tonight there is a couple having a BBQ yards away from the burnt grass.
Canâ€™t believe thisâ€¦. South Millfields orchard was on fire this afternoon and tonight there is a couple having a BBQ yards away from the burnt grass @hackneycouncil @TM_Hackney pic.twitter.com/kD4Q3nd0cX
— Millfields UserGroup (@MillfieldsUG) July 16, 2022
Meanwhile, local volunteer group Tree Musketeers shared images of firefighters putting out the flames, saying: ‘All the care and commitment of growing, planting, and looking after these trees over many years can be wiped out in a few minutes by someone’s carelessness.’
This summer alone, London Fire Brigade has tackled more than 800 fires across the capital with parkland particularly vulnerable to fire.
Assistant commissioner Pat Goulbourne said: ‘Make sure rubbish, especially glass, is safely thrown away and cigarettes are always properly disposed of. Grass will be tinder dry after such hot weather, so please don’t have barbecues in parks and public spaces.
‘Disposable barbecues that have been abandoned can still end up causing a fire as hot coals can smoulder and pose a real fire risk for some time after the flames die down – they need to be put right out and cooled before being safely thrown away.’
A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: ‘Barbecues are not allowed in our parks, guidance we reiterate during periods of hot weather when they present an acute fire risk.’
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