Nature-lovers were staggered to find a lit barbecue at a Snowdonia beauty spot, putting it at risk of being devastated by fire.
The smoking barbecue still had several blackened and ‘beyond edible’ burgers on the grill when it was discovered.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has warned of a ‘high risk of accidental fires’ from barbecuing this summer.
It was left at Llyn Geirionydd, a popular picnic spot by a lake in Gwydir Forest Park’s Conwy Valley.
Numerous signs in the area warn people about the dangers of fire.
It is unclear what happened to those who set up the barbecue before it was discovered by Gemma Whittingham who put it out with the help of her children.
The mum, from nearby Llanrwst, posted on Facebook after finding the abandoned fire hazard under trees next to the lake car park.
She said: ‘Think someone forgot something up the lake. Still burning with burgers on it, not one in sight.
‘It was still smoking and had glowing embers. The burgers were charcoal, so they must have been left a while.’
‘Piles of burnt charcoal had also been just left on rocks by the edge of the lake. There was one other car there but it had followed us up – there was no one else around.
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‘Luckily, it had just started raining. If it hadn’t, the barbecue could well have caused a fire. I’m just amazed people are so inconsiderate.’
She returned the next day to remove the barbecue but it had already been taken away.
It comes after a period of unprecedented hot weather across the UK and after it was confirmed that this is the driest July in 111 years – fueling a host of wildfires.
Last year, police patrols were stepped up in the area amid concerns over wild camping, littering and fires.
Conwy Council installed extra signage, while Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which manages Gwydir Forest, set up a tourism task group.
Barbecues are not explicitly banned but visitors are urged not to light open fires.
In 1938, some 500 acres of trees were destroyed in the fire.
NRW’s Richard Owen urges visitors to take extra care.
He said previously: ‘People don’t realize how easy it is for a rogue ember from a barbecue or bonfire to develop into something bigger.
‘Take a picnic instead of a barbecue to minimize the risk of fire.
‘If people ignore this advice, I would urge them to make absolutely sure it is extinguished when they have finished cooking and to dispose of it properly by taking it home.’
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