Fire in St Ouen 'the result of a misjudgement'
Jersey's Fire Service says a blaze that set light to a square kilometre of vegetation in St Ouen 'was the result of a misjudgement', rather than a wildfire.
A spokesperson confirmed to ITV the fire was started accidentally by a group of young people 'with a fire they thought they could control'.
When the emergency services arrived at the scene at around 8pm on Thursday night, those living nearby were using their hosepipes to stop the fire from spreading.
Firefighters got the fire under control and remained on the scene, damping down the ground until 10:30pm.
In a post on social media, Jersey Fire & Rescue issued a reminder that: "This sustained period of dry weather means the likelihood of an open land fire is dramatically increased.
"The lighting of fires should be avoided and always consider the possibility of the fire spreading."
It is the same warning issued earlier this week after conditions already led to a number of fire-related incidents in Jersey. On Sunday, tinder-dry gorse caught alight and scorched a 450m squared area in St Brelade.
But in a statement published on Friday afternoon, Jersey Fire and Rescue said that wasn't the cause of the St Ouen blaze, and urged islanders to avoid bonfires, campfires or burning garden waste during the current hot, dry weather:
"The fire in St Ouen last night was a result of misjudgement of how quickly and easily fires can spread, particularly in the current conditions; firefighters on scene gave appropriate words of advice to those involved.
"As a reminder to the public, the current hot weather and dry conditions are significantly increasing the risk of fire spreading, with temperatures continuing to remain high. Because the ground is so dry, and with large amounts of gorse around the Island, a fire could catch easily and spread very quickly.
"To help minimise the risk, SJFRS are requesting that Islanders refrain from having bonfires, campfires or burning garden waste in the current conditions."
A spokesperson for Jersey's emergency services confirmed the young people who started the fire have been spoken to 'and they have learnt from this incident'.
"This serves to underscore our message: never underestimate fire; especially at the moment."
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