Thirty fires at solar farm site cause panic and see firefighters called in

The fire near Kentidge Way, Waterlooville, yesterday. Picture: Craig Handy

Suspected arson incident in Waterlooville causes £50,000 of damage

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THIRTY fires that had been started by workmen who were clearing a field to make way for a solar farm sparked alarm last night.

Neighbours called firefighters to put out the blazes after becoming concerned that embers would spread to nearby thatched cottages and stables.

Two fire engines from Waterlooville and a fire response vehicle from Fareham and one from Petersfield were called to the field, off Bellney Lane, in Denmead.

Ralph Hutton, from Waterlooville station, said: ‘When we first got there I thought it was a plane crash as it was spread over such a vast area.’

The workmen had set around 30 piles of wood and cleared shrubbery on fire. They had put a barrier at the edge of the site to prevent the fire spreading, however due to the fires’ ferocity, they passed this.

Fourteen firefighters spent at least four hours putting out the fires, after they were called in at 10pm.