Dorset fire likely caused by disposable barbecue – firefighters | Drought

A large fire at a nature reserve in Dorset was likely caused by a barbecue, firefighters have said.

Firefighters battled through the night to bring the Studland Heath blaze under control on Friday.

Ninety firefighters were deployed when the blaze was first reported around 1pm on Friday, and 10 fire engines were deployed from nearby areas, the Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said and Wiltshire (DWFRS).

A spokeswoman for the force told PA News that a disposable barbecue was the most likely cause. “We found evidence of a small camp where someone had used a disposable barbecue; we can’t say 100% that was the cause, but when we find evidence we have to assume it’s the most likely cause – fires don’t start on their own,” she said. declared.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Services said there had been an almost 500 per cent increase in wildfires in the first 10 days of August this year compared to 2021.

Jason Moncrieff, the service’s regional director, told the BBC’s Today programme: “It’s a huge difference. The first 10 days of August this year compared to last year saw 492% more of these types of fires. So it’s field fires, grass fires, moorland fires – all those sorts of open fires, a 492% increase this year.

He also said the fire on the Studland Peninsula could have been avoided. “Surprisingly, yesterday’s fire looks like it was started by a disposable barbecue. There can’t be many people in Britain who don’t know that the advice at the moment is don’t bring barbecues, don’t use barbecues, especially disposable barbecues in places like Studland Heath. It’s our message, bring a picnic – don’t bring a barbecue.

“It’s under control; he’s in much better shape than he was yesterday [but] we will probably continue our operations for the rest of the day. How much longer, I can’t really say.

An official drought was declared across eight regions of England on Friday by the National Drought Group (NDG), which includes representatives from government, water companies, the Environment Agency (EA) and others.

Derbyshire fire crews tackled a huge blazein Creswell, Worksop. Footage shared online showed flames filling the horizon and large plumes of smoke in the sky above a residential area.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Services also fought embankment fires next to a railway line in Matlock and near Junction 26 of the M1.

The department said it was “expecting a busy weekend” of new fires and echoed the call for people to refrain from lighting bonfires in the garden or using portable barbecues.

Some 35 firefighters were also deployed to tackle a two-hectare blaze at Leyton Flats Wildlife Reserve in Waltham Forest, east London.

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