Warning issued after BBQ sparks huge blaze at Staffordshire beauty spot

A warning has been issued to people living in Staffordshire urging them not to have BBQs in country parks after video footage showed the devastating impact from a fire.

The video shows the aftermath of the fire which engulfed an area the size of 30 football pitches on Cannock Chase.

The footage shows the extent of the damage to the habitats, which could take months to recover while a number of trees will also need to be felled due to the risk they now pose to the public. The fire happened over the weekend of May 21 to May 22.

There have also been smaller fires at Deep Hayes County Park, and Chasewater said Staffordshire County Council which has produced the footage..

County councillor Mark Winnington said: “We see ourselves as custodians of this fantastic countryside and it is truly heart-breaking to see the impact fires can rapidly have on the landscape and our precious habitats. Rare wildlife species are rearing young at this time of year and fires can have a devastating effect.

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“We know as lockdown measures are ease more people are returning to enjoy them which is great news, but with our country parks still on high fire risk alert, we are appealing to everyone not to have barbecues, light camp fires or discard of cigarettes carelessly.

“We have closed areas due to the risk and will not hesitate to extend closures if the rules are not adhered to, for everyone’s safety.

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“We can see from this footage how a moment’s carelessness can see fires destroy land and habitat within minutes – so please think twice before you light a fire this summer.”

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