Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Firefighters called to Ashdown Forest Fire

Firefighters were called to a heath fire at Ashdown Forest which spread across an area of around 2.5 hectares.

Nine appliances, along with around 35 firefighters, were sent to the incident near to the Crowborough Road, in Nutley, on 1st April at 8.52pm.

Repeat calls were made to the Mobilising & Communications Centre at East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service by concerned members of the public who spotted the fire.

Land Rover Pump Appliances, designed to act as a lightweight fire-fighting appliance and used for accessing rural and remote areas, were taken to the incident. The Land Rover is fitted with a water tank and pump, hoses and equipment to be able to cope with most small rural fires.

A consultation was carried out with the Chief Ashdown Forest Ranger and crews then tackled the blaze using hose reels, beaters and flexible backpacks, which hold about 20 litres of water and can be carried on a firefighter's back to places a fire engine is unable to reach.

Crews remained there until midnight with a re-inspection carried out of the area the following morning.

Watch Commander Andy Tolkien said: “Those living on the forest should make sure that they have a plan to evacuate and keep vegetation cut down, which will act as a barrier to homes.”

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offers the following advice to enjoy the countryside safely:
  • Avoid open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe, designated areas. 
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home and put them in a recycling bin.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately.
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.

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