UNDER-PRESSURE firefighters have sent out two warnings this morning (Saturday) after having to tackle blazes that could otherwise have been avoided.

Firefighters from Maidenhead were called out to a bin fire in the Jubilee River car park in Marsh Lane, Taplow, after picnickers left a discarded barbecue set still alight in the skip.

It was quickly dealt with after the call out at 8pm last night (Friday), but only because the fire was seen by local fishermen who used water to douse the flames before fighters arrived.

A firefighter at the scene said: "If you have a disposable barbecue set you can't just throw it in a bin because the embers will be still active for at least 24 hours. It must be put out with water.

"This bin fire could have spread to nearby bushes and then on to a farmer's field which was close and we would have another blaze to tackle.

"The public must be aware of this, especially in this weather which has us already tackling these kind of fires which, as we have seen around the area, can be devastating."

Later that evening they were called out to tackle a kitchen blaze at a house in Leyton Green, off Castle Hill, Maidenhead after food was left unattended on an oven hob.

The family of five were safely out of the house, but the kitchen, which was new, suffered extensive smoke damage and oven was destroyed.

One engine was on scene where firefighters wearing breathing gear and using one hose quickly extinguished the blaze.

At least 45 per cent of all incidents tackled in Berkshire all year are kitchen fires and can be easily avoided.

The firefighter said: "We see it all the time where people are distracted and leave food on the hob and it's too late once it starts.

"Have a good working smoke alarm fitted and gtry not to be distracted. It could be kids playing up, the wrong team scoring in a football match or just forgetting about it, but there are classic distractions and people must be conscientious about cooking and alarms."