There’s growing concerns, ahead of another hot and dry weekend, for the safety of a Croydon beauty spot from fires, coupled with mounting anger at the carelessness and “eco-vandalism” of some who might be planning to hold barbecues at Croham Hurst.
The police and local councillors have been notified, after what appeared to be barbecuing equipment was spotted inside the railings of the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The fire brigade is on standby again this weekend in case of further outbreaks of fire on the tinder-dry heath and woodlands in Croham Hurst.
Inside Croydon first reported the fire threat to Croham Hurst last month, following the driest June since records began.
At the beginning of July, fires burned the heather and woodland for three days, despite the close attention of three tenders and crews from the London Fire Brigade. The fire brigade was called out that week at least five times to deal with fires in the woods at Croham Hurst.
There has been no appreciable rainfall for more than six weeks, making the undergrowth in all Croydon’s parks, commons and open spaces ever more vulnerable to fire risks, not just from barbecues, but from carelessly discarded cigarettes, and even glass bottles, which may magnify sun rays to cause a smouldering fire.
Croham Hurst comprises more than 80 acres and is classified as biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It is also a Regionally Important Geological Site.
The fire brigade’s advice is that the public should not light barbecues in public open spaces during the heatwave, and should exercise special care when disposing of cigarettes or anything which might cause a fire risk.
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