Monday, 20 February 2012

Firefighters tackle forest fire in Nutley

A forest fire in Nutley at the weekend was tackled by firefighters from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, with support from their colleagues from West Sussex.

Crews from Forest Row, Uckfield, Crowborough, Heathfield and East Grinstead were sent to the incident yesterday (19th February) at 2.31pm and remained there until 4.14pm.

Around thirty firefighters tackled four acres of forest fire and the incident was brought under control by 3.31pm.

Three appliances were mobilised along with three Land Rover Pump Appliances, which are designed to act as a lightweight fire-fighting appliance ideal for accessing rural and remote areas. The Land Rover is fitted with a water tank and pump, hoses and equipment to be able to cope with most small rural fires.

Watch Commander Andrew Tolkien said: “Forest fires can be miles away from the road and this is when we use the Land Rovers, as opposed to fire engines.

“It was a lovely sunny afternoon and everyone thought ‘let’s go out’ so there were a lot of people in the forest. The worrying thing was the public walking down there to have a look and we were offering the advice to stay away as the fire can out run you. So in future, if there is a forest fire, call 999 to notify the fire service and please stay away and let the emergency services deal with it.

“There has not been a lot of rain this winter so the foliage is very dry. All you need is a discarded cigarette and a bit of wind to fan the flames, for a fire to start.”

The cause of the fire has not been established yet and is still under investigation.

Forest Safety Advice:

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don't throw cigarette ends on the ground
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside - check local bylaws.
  • Don't leave bottles or glass in woodland - sunlight shining through glass can start fires.
  • Take your rubbish home with you or use waste bins.
  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended - check local bylaws before use.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the Fire and Rescue Service immediately
  • Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out quickly and easily with a bucket of water - leave the area as soon as possible.

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