Wareham fire one of the most devastating in living memory

Wareham fire one of the most devastating in living memory

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:03am 26th May 2020.

A fire which destroyed 220 hectares of Dorset forest and healthland is being described as one of the most devastating fires the county has seen.

It's been a week since the fire started.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service say it was caused by social activity and destroyed to 220 hectares of forest and heathland, that's the size of over 230 football pitches.

BBQs in Wareham Forest

Since Monday 18th May fire crews have been at the scene fighting in hot conditions to ensure it doesn't spread further.

DWFRS Chief Fire Officer, Ben Ansell said:

"I am extremely proud of the hard work of firefighters and all staff from across Dorset & Wiltshire that have attended this incident, as well as the control room staff who have worked tirelessly to make sure resources are where they need to be. 

"All 50 fire stations from across the Service have attended the incident at some point this week.

"We are extremely grateful to the National Fire Chiefs Council and all the other fire and rescue services and other agencies that have supported us in dealing with this incident."

Wareham Forest Fire

Firefighters from other rescue services including Hampshire, Royal Berkshire, and West Sussex, were also called in, together with specialist advisors from Forestry England, Dorset Police  and many volunteers.

Ben Ansell added:

"This incident highlights how devastating and resource intensive heath and forest fires are. 

"This has been made even more difficult by the weather conditions we have faced this week and the current social distancing guidelines in place - which are almost impossible to adhere to when dealing with a forest fire."