Wareham Forest fire continues and is declared a major incident

Wareham Forest fire May 2020

A fire starting in Wareham Forest on Monday 18th May 2020 at around 1 am has now been declared a major incident.

Fire crews continue to battle the fire, with over 150 firefighters from more than 20 stations and 30 vehicles being involved with the incident. However, the majority of the fire has now been put out.

There’s a high risk of power cuts as a rest of electricity pylons passing through Wareham Forest.

In addition to this, as the ground continues to smoke, with hot ashes and the potential for the fire to spread, parts of the A35 have been closed due to safety concerns over visibility. The currently known closures are between Bere Regis and Morden Park Corner, as well as Sugar Hill and Bere Road.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue expect for the incident to last at least another 24 hours. As a result, the public is told to stay away from the area and keep their windows closed.

Wareham Forest fire

We now have over 100 firefighters at #Wareham forest tackling the huge heath blaze. The wind is carrying smoke towards #Bournemouth & #Poole. Crews are working incredibly hard to contain the fire. Please avoid the area if you can due to the smoke and some road closures. If you’re in the area & concerned about impact of smoke on health, please close doors/windows.

Posted by DWFireRescue on Monday, 18 May 2020

The cause of the fire currently remains unknown. However, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue reminder the public to be aware of fire risks when out in the countryside.

  • Take all litter home.
  • Properly extinguish cigarettes and don’t throw them onto the ground or out of your car’s window.
  • Do not have BBQs in the forest, open spaces or in the heath. If you do, properly extinguish this and take it home along with your other rubbish.
  • DO NOT have any open fires.

If you see a fire in a forest, heath or anywhere else, call 999 immediately to help tackle the problem as soon as possible.

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said:

“This is a protected incident and we expect it to carry on for the next 24 hours. Please continue to avoid the area and keep windows closed due to the smoke.

“The A35 is likely to remain closed for a numbers of hours and into tomorrow so please check your route before travelling to work tomorrow (Tuesday).”

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