Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Fire!



Yesterday fires broke out in four different areas of Swinley forest. 150 fire fighters from four fire and emergency services attended alongside police and ambulances. Forest Rangers were hauling water bowsers while a police helicopter overhead directed operations and was alert to fresh outbreaks.
Fire in Bracknell - Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2011 by Ian Emery
Image copyright Ian Emery
Strong swirling winds ensured that the fires spread rapidly in the dry undergrowth. The fire travelled underground as well as over the surface. There has been little significant rain for several weeks and the rich leaf mould covering the ground and the resin in the trees is highly combustible.

The skies were dark and the air was thick with smoke, the smell permeating everything. Emergency services are expected to remain on site until it is certain that the fires have been extinguished. Today a pall of smoke hangs over the forest and the wind is picking up again so that any small smouldering could be fanned into life afresh. It will be several days before we can resume our customary walks in Crowthorne Forest.

Some businesses and houses were evacuated yesterday and today local schools close to the forest boundaries have been closed. There has been no loss of life and for that we are thankful but the police will now be actively seeking the person or persons unknown who set the fires.

Last night we took the dogs to Simon’s Wood beyond the opposite end of the village but we could still see and smell the smoke, so today they will have a rest. It’s not good for their lungs – or ours – to breathe in smoky air.
You can just make out a fire appliance with its blue flashing light in the centre of the photo.
A week ago Barry reported fire and emergency services were called out. We thought it had been quenched. Maybe it was, but fire reappeared in the same area, so it seems that someone was determined to burn the forest. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where nightjar, Dartford warbler and woodlark breed.  It is also one of the most important sites in the country for dragonflies and damselflies. 24 of the 38 species in the UK breed here.

16 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry this is happening. Once a fire goes underground it is very difficult to put it out. We had this same thing happen in my city, but it was from lightening. I hope and pray the fire will be out soon.

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  2. I'll be praying for your area with the fires - Texas has had a lot of them lately.

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  3. I'm glad that there was no loss of life in the fire. I hope that the fire is put out (and stays out) soon!

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  4. That's so sad - and cruel. I hope they find the people who did this.

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  5. Oh that is just so terrible. I hope those who did it are caught and taught why this is such a bad thing to do xx

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  6. That is awful, Janice. I can't understand how anyone could deliberately set forest fires. It is bad enough in my home province, British Columbia, where lightning strikes cause many forest fires every year, and other fires are caused by campers not extinguishing their campfires completely, as well as people who smoke cigarettes (!!) in the woods. I'm so terribly sorry for you and Barry and the dogs, and all your neighbours whose lives have been changed by these blackguards (there's a nice modern use for the old word 'blackguard').
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  7. That's a scary situation. We've been going through the same here.

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  8. I hope all goes well... sending positive thoughts your way.

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  9. +1 follower from blog hop, cool blog btw check ur layout seems a little messed up, maybe its just me

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  10. This is so scary. I hope the fire is out for good. They do say that fires are sometimes good for forests, but not if it can't be put out quickly.

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  11. Gosh, it must be so worrying, especially being so close. The thought that people actually start these fires is beyond me. I'm so glad no-one has been hurt ... but the poor wildlife :o(

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  12. Prayers for all in that area. Living in Australia, we get some horrific bush fires starting at this time of year. Thank you for stopping by my blog your kind words were very comforting. Congratz on getting through the challenge.

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  13. That looks like a huge fire. Scary to have it so close to home. I hope the firemen can control it quickly, and hope not too much damage is done to the wildlife, bird and insect populations.

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  14. 150 firemen, this is hugest

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  15. What a tragedy for all concerned. I have never lived close to a forest fire area, but it must be very frightening

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