Couple slammed for having BBQ in park hours after firefighters battled blaze

A couple has been slammed after lighting up a BBQ on one of the hottest days of the year – right next to a patch of scorched earth that was extinguished earlier that day.

The man and woman were photographed cooking on a BBQ in Millfields Park, in Hackney, just feet away from a patch of land that was involved in a blaze on the afternoon of Saturday, July 16.

The alarming image was shared by Millfords User Group, a Twitter account for community group of local people who love the park.

“Can’t believe this…South Millfields orchard was on fire this afternoon and tonight there is a couple having a BBQ yards away from the burnt grass,” the tweet read.

A tweet from Tree Musketeers, a volunteer group that plants and cares for trees in Hackney, east London, showed images of firefighters hosing down scorched earth in the park.

“Orchard fire in South Millfields park this afternoon,” the tweet read.

“All the care and commitment of growing, planting, and looking after these trees over many years can be wiped out in a few minutes by someone’s carelessness.”

The Tree Musketeers planted 51 trees in the park in 2009, some of which had since been destroyed.

While it was not known what caused the fire, the section of the park had been victim to arson attacks in the past

The latest fire spread quickly, as a result of the recent heatwave.

Heatwave or not, barbecues are forbidden in all council-run parks – which included Millfields.

London Fire Brigade had tackled more than 800 fires across the capital, with parkland particularly vulnerable to fire.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said the hot weather of late had led to a “significant” amount of fires in London and across the UK.

“We’ve been urging people to help us by trying to reduce the amount of grass fires and have specifically asked people not to have barbecues at all while the weather remains dry.”

Barbecuing on dry land was “reckless”, they said, and could easily cause a really serious fire, damaging the immediate area and risking nearby properties.

“For the sake of our city – and of our firefighters who have to work in sweltering temperatures to tackle these blazes – we’d really like people to take our advice on board and we thank those Londoners who have listened,” they said.

A spokesperson for Hackney Council advised that barbecues were “not allowed” in council parks.