Concerns over park fires as hot weather continues

As the summer heatwave continues, the council and Herts Fire and Rescue are reminding residents that they cannot use barbecues or light fires in the borough's parks and open spaces.

Park fires summer 2022

The fire service has dealt with grass fires at Stanborough Park and King George V Playing Fields in WGC in recent weeks.

Cllr Terry Mitchinson, the council's Executive Member, Community Safety and Parking, said:

It's awful to see the impact these fires have left on our parks. Thanks to the efforts of Herts Fire and Rescue the fires were quickly brought under control and no one was injured but, given the current heatwave, these could easily have developed into far more dangerous incidents.

The vast majority of visitors to our parks behave responsibly but I ask everyone to remain vigilant while visiting our parks so we can all safely enjoy them.

Emily Nicholls, General Manager - Outdoor Facilities, for the council's leisure partner GLL, said:

We are saddened by the recent fires at both Stanborough Park and King George V Playing Fields and the damage that these occurrences have caused to our beautiful parks. We would like to thank Herts Fire Service and Hertfordshire Police for their swift assistance.

We want all park users to enjoy our facilities responsibly, while respecting the no naked flame policy. This will help avoid any further emergency situations and protect our parks and open spaces.

Group Commander Gareth Bradbury from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue said:

Our Fire Crews have attended an unprecedented number of calls to fires due to the hot and dry conditions in the last couple of weeks. Please help us to help you by:

  • Not having campfires or bonfires and only BBQing in designated safe areas. Avoid using disposable BBQs in the current hot and dry conditions. Campfires and bonfires can easily get out of control in these conditions. (BBQs are not allowed at any time at Stanborough Park.)
  • Ensuring cigarettes are put out FULLY before disposing of them. Throwing them from a car window does not mean they have extinguished fully.
  • Taking all litter home with you, particularly glass.
  • Calling 999 immediately if you discover a fire. Please don't try and tackle it yourself and stay safe.
  •  Downloading the what3words app will help you give Fire Control your exact location if you do discover a fire which will help us get to you sooner.