Local crews among those tackling Wareham Forest fire

Wareham Forest fire
Firefighters from across the region spent weeks tackling a devastating forest fire in Wareham last summer, started by disposable barbecues

wareham forest fireLYME Regis, Charmouth and Axminster fire crews are among those which have been called back to Wareham, as emergency services tackle a forest fire for the sixth day running. 

The fire at Wareham Forest, affecting 100 hectares of heathland, was sparked on Monday, May 18 and is now believed to have been accidental, after multiple disposable barbecues, campfires and glass bottles were found in the area.

The dry and windy conditions have resulted in several hot spots repeatedly flaring up, with more than 150 firefighters regularly working at the scene over the past week.

For the second time, the incident was declared a major incident yesterday as a new section of the forest was destroyed. Twenty-five pumps, a helicopter and specialist team from Wales were brought in to help tackle the blaze.

Charmouth and Bridport fire brigades returned to the scene yesterday afternoon and Lyme Regis was called back at about 7am this morning, along with Axminster.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people not to have bonfires or barbecues this weekend due to the increased risk of wildfires.

Area Manager Craig Baker said: “In light of the devastation at Wareham Forest and the amber wildfire alert, we are asking for the public’s help in ensuring our resources can be used for the vital support of communities by not having campfires or using disposable barbecues in our forests and heathlands.

“Whilst we understand that the dry weather will leave many wanting to go out and enjoy it, we cannot stress the importance of being fire-aware enough. This incident is a prime example of how a moment of carelessness can escalate, and the destruction it can cause.”

For more information on outdoor fire safety visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety/safety-outdoors/

wareham forest fire

Woodmead Halls

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