AROUND 40 firefighters worked tirelessly throughout the night to tackle a ‘deliberate’ gorse fire.
Crews on six pumps, two water carriers, two Land Rovers and a specialist wildfire team from Lyndhurst battled the blaze at Browndown Ranges in Gosport last night which burned for four hours.
Gosport crew manager Tony Read said: ‘We were called out at 9.27pm and we managed to get the fire out by about 1.30am. It was a deliberate fire set by idiots and names have been handed to the police.’
‘It was a horrid sweaty job and fire crews were at the scene until 4.30am this morning to check the fire did not reignite.’
The fire crews will conduct re-inspections of the area this morning.
People in the area have been outraged by the blaze.
Posting on The News’ Facebook page, Claire Tolson said: ‘Absolutely awful.
‘I've never understood what drives people to start fires over there. Its happened for as long as I can remember.
‘Hope no one was hurt, but can’t imagine that the wildlife wont have been effected.'
Rennie Wright added: ‘That’s absolutely disgusting.’
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.
‘Two hectares of heath and gorse were destroyed in the fire which was stopped using seven hose reels.
‘Crews were initially mobilised just before half nine yesterday evening with the stop message coming in seven hours later.’
Firefighters will return to reinspect the scene throughout the day to ensure there are no further hotspots.
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