18 May 2020 18:42
Over 150 Firefighters from stations across Dorset and Wiltshire fire and rescue service are battling to gain control of an out of control Heath fire that is rapidly spreading Moments before the blaze broke out reports have been made to Police that a number of men were understood to have been seen in the area with red petrol cans. Contractors have also been working in the area. Fire bosses from DWFRS have said at present that they have ruled out arson but a full joint investigation will take place once the fire has been brought under control. Fire sources have revealed that along with fighting the fire and gaining control of the flames and spread Two further concerns are are the location of the rapidly spreading blaze. It is understood to be moving towards a live major underground gas and oil pipeline and also hitting overhead power lines that are attached to a row of metal pylons.
The fire service source has said that if that was the case it could be seriously service effecting as large smoke plum hits the overhead wiring can cause arching and damage. A huge amount of fire resources have been sent to the scene including over 25 fire pumping appliances, seven off road vehicles, eight Landrovers and supported by four water carriers a unimog and a specialist High Volume pumping and hose layer. The national government asset i can pump over 79,000 litres per minute. The specialist kit is normally used in flooding situations or when large amounts of water is need to be delivered. Crews are attacking the blaze using fire beaters, main hose reels lines and a compressed air foam system, "CAFS" that is used in firefighting to deliver fire retardant foam to a fire to try to stop the spread.
Group commanders on the ground are also attempting to put in fire breaks to try to contain the spread. A further fire source as revealed that the incident has been declared a Major Incident Standby but the who operation is very fluid at present. A number of road closures are in place at Sugar Hill and Morden Park Corner in Wareham. Nearby troops at Bovington camp have also offered to support frontline fire fighters in contain and tacking the blaze. In a statement issued at 12.23pm by the service they advised that over 100 firefighters are now tackling a large fire affecting heath and woodland at Wareham Forest. Crews are using hose reel jets, main lines and beaters to tackle the fire. Sugar Hill and Bere Road have been closed as the smoke has made them impassable. crews attending are from BereRegis,Blandford,Bridport,Christchurch,Dorchester,Ferndown,Hamworthy,Poole,Redhil Park,Sturminster Newton,Swanage,Wareham,Westbourne,Weymouth and Wimbourne Image copyright DWFRS Image caption More than 100 fire fighters are dealing with the blaze More than 100 firefighters are tackling a forest fire at a Dorset beauty spot. The blaze broke out at Sugar Hill, in Wareham Forest, shortly after midday, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said. Crews are using hosereel jets and beaters to tackle the fire, which is "affecting heath and woodland", a spokesman said. Nearby roads have been closed and power supplies interrupted because of electricity pylons being affected. Image copyright Bill Beaumont Image caption Smoke could be seen rising above the forest The fire is being fanned by strong winds and smoke is drifting towards Poole and Bournemouth. The fire service said anyone concerned about their health should close doors and windows. Nearby Sugar Hill and Bere Road have been closed as smoke has made them impassable. The A35 between Bere Regis and Morden Park Corner has also been shut. The cause of the fire will be investigated.