Arson investigation witness appeal for fire at Browndown Ranges in Gosport

POLICE are appealing for witnesses in an arson investigation after a fire destroyed a large area of gorseland in Gosport.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 5:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 7:50 pm

Crews were called on Friday July 12 at 9.37pm to Browndown Ranges and around 40 firefighters tackled the blaze which burned for four hours.

A police spokesman said: ‘We are appealing for witnesses following a fire which damaged a large area of wildland at Alver Valley Country Park in Gosport.

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WATCH: Arson probe after fire at Browndown Ranges in Gosport

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Firefighters tackled a blaze at Browndown Ranges on Friday July 12. Picture: Mike Seymour

‘At around 9.45pm on Friday July 12, emergency services were called to the fire which took place on a large open area measuring 100x150 square metres.

‘We are treating this fire as arson.

‘If you were in the area between 9.20pm and 10pm and saw anything suspicious, officers are keen to speak to you.’

Anyone with information should call us on 101, quoting 44190243908, or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The damage after the fire. Picture: Mike Seymour

Drone operator Mike Seymour, from Gosport, was on hand helping firefighters giving crews a live aerial feed of the fire.

He said: ‘I’m glad I was there to let the firefighters see the live video to help them out with putting it out.

‘I know there’s a lot of complaints about flying there at night and people thinking it’s a no fly zone but I didn’t get any complaints from the police or firefighters at the time.’

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service statement said: ‘A large heathland fire on Browndown Ranges in Gosport was tackled by firefighters late into last night.

‘Pumps and specialist vehicles came from stations including Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Eastleigh, Portchester, Lyndhurst, Wickham and Cosham.