Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service have announced that Forestry England made the decision on 22nd May to support our fire service by providing a specialist helicopter to help fight the fire from the air.
The Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel is operated by a commercial company that has extensive training and experience with tackling fires with Forestry England.
The helicopter’s water bucket can hold over one thousand litres of water, which are then released over areas of fire. This sudden drop of water momentarily suffocates the fire and covers the area with water. Doing so, allows fire hot spots to be put out or managed in areas where other equipment can’t reach.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service said that the helicopter will be used as and when needed.
The news comes after it has been reported that the Wareham Forest fire is continuing, and the fire service still has more than 150 firefighters tackling the fire during the day.
An official statement from DWFS states:
“Please DO NOT travel to the area for walking, cycling or other leisure activity. An area of approx. 200 hectares is now affected by the fire, so there are lots of vehicle movements, miles of hose stretching along roads and paths, and water drops from a helicopter brought in by Forestry England. Even if an area looks safe, we cannot guarantee that it is. Firefighters are working incredibly hard, in arduous conditions, to bring this fire under control and you can help us hugely by staying away.
“An AMBER wildfire alert remains in place for the weekend, so we are also asking PLEASE DO NOT have any barbecues, campfires or bonfires over the coming days. Our resources are already stretched, please help us by not doing anything that could lead to another fire elsewhere. Click here to view the warning issued ahead of the weekend.
“We have heathland bike patrol volunteers out monitoring Upton Heath, Canford Heath, Ham Common, Turbury Common and Kinson Common today. We are also asking anyone who’s out and about to please stay fire-aware, stay vigilant, and call 999 if you do see an unattended fire in the countryside.”Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service
You can read the latest stream of updates about the Wareham Forest fire on the DWFS website.
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