Portsmouth firefighters called to 'major incident' in Dorset as fire rips through scenic woodland
FIREFIGHTERS from Cosham have been placed on standby near Bournemouth in order to support crews dealing with a 100 hectare fire in Wareham Forest.
A five-person team from Cosham travelled more than 50 miles to be placed on standby at Christchurch at 9pm on Monday.
The fire crew at Christchurch fire station was one of 28 crews – making up 150 firefighters - attending the woodland blaze across Wareham Forest, which is believed to have started at midday yesterday and is likely to continue for the rest of today.
The emergency services have declared the fire a major incident, as nearby roads have been closed and electricity pylon damage has led to power outages.
A crew being placed on standby in a different county is ‘fairly unusual’, according to a firefighter at Cosham Fire Station.
He said: ‘It was a big incident – but we have been given no more information.
‘We didn’t attend any call outs while we were in Christchurch.
‘We left Cosham at about 9pm and got back at 2am.’
Smoke from the fire could be seen from more than ten miles away in Bournemouth, with Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service advising residents to keep their windows closed.
Fire crews from across Hampshire – including Basingstoke and St Mary’s fire station teams – relieved colleagues in the neighbouring county so they could deal with the Wareham Forest blaze.
The A35 between Bere Regis and Morden Park Corner has also been shut and motorists have been advised to check their route if you travelling through the area.