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Police warning after Jerbourg BBQ fire

Police warning after Jerbourg BBQ fire

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Police warning after Jerbourg BBQ fire

The person who broke lockdown guidelines by setting up a disposable barbecue in a secluded area off the south coast, accidentally leading to an area of gorse going up in flames and the Fire & Rescue Service having to spend up to six hours getting the blaze under control, won't face any criminal charges.

The Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service was called to Jerbourg Point, near the Pea Stacks, on Saturday morning for what was described as a gorse fire.

An area approximately 15m by 10m was found to be "smoldering" when the blue light service arrived on the scene. 

Head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardy confirmed that the likely cause of the fire had since been identified. Although staging the barbecue was clearly at odds with government advice over staying at home and social gatherings, Mr Hardy said police will not be pursuing criminal action against the offender because the fire was not deliberate. 

"I spoke to the fire chief John Le Page this morning, and it looks like an individual had gone down to that location with one of those disposable barbecues, which doesn’t fit at all with the social distancing and going out for exercise [guidelines]," he said. 


Pictured: GFRS has set up a second temporary fire station at Beau Sejour in order to increase their resilience in the current circumstances.

"It appears that they cleared up after the barbecue, but the barbecue left some heat in the foliage and it was that which, over time, smoldered and then caught fire.

"When the Fire & Rescue Service got there, there was no evidence that it had been set [fire to] deliberately, but there was evidence that there had been a barbecue.

"So we’re not pursuing it as a criminal investigation, but it is just to warn people. It had been particularly dry for a number of weeks and although there is no formal investigation into that, it just highlights that these sorts of activities can lead to some of the blue light services having to spend considerable amounts of time, energy and resource dealing with something that in the circumstances should not be happening."

Pictured top: Head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardy. 

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