Crime, Environment, Latest News, Wareham, Wildlife | Posted: Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 at 3:29 pm | return to news

Firefighters still tackle blaze at Wareham Forest as police appeal for information

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service still has around 100 firefighters tackling a huge heath fire affecting some 180 hectares of heath and woodland at Wareham Forest, which started yesterday afternoon (18 May).

Devastating scene at Wareham Forest are courtesy of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
Devastating scene at Wareham Forest are courtesy of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

A total of 12 fire engines, 10 Land Rover pumps and a number of support appliances are at the scene, drawn from across Dorset and Wiltshire.

During the incident, there has also been support from Devon & Somerset FRS and Hampshire FRS, both with crews attending the fire and others providing fire cover.

Firefighters are working extremely hard in very hot conditions using hose reel jets, main lines and beaters to bring the fire to a close; and several miles of hose have been laid to the River Piddle to boost water provision, using high volume pumps from Christchurch and Wellington.

Smoke is still rising from the scene and affecting a wide area, particularly towards Bournemouth, Poole, Wimborne and Ferndown. If you are affected and are concerned, please keep windows and doors closed as a precaution.

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The cause of the fire remains under investigation and detectives are appealing for anyone with information or relevant dashcam footage to come forward.

Detective Constable Richard Evans, of Weymouth CID, said, “At this time the cause of the fire remains unexplained and we are liaising with the fire service to establish the full circumstances.

“To our assist our enquiries, I am keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and has any information as to how the fire started to contact us. I would also urge anyone who was driving in the area of Bere Road and Sugar Hill between around 8am and 1pm on Monday 18 May 2020 to check their dashcam for anything relevant.

“I would like to thank the fire service and all those involved in tackling this fire for their efforts to keep the local community safe over the last 24 hours.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55200070290. Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call freephone 0800 555 111.

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