King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK — Seventy firefighters from Norfolk and Suffolk were drafted in to tackle a forest fire which broke out near Weeting on Sundayafternoon.
At its height, about five acres of Forestry Commission land was affected by the blaze, which started at about 4pm near the scene of an illegal rave between Weeting andMethwold.
Fire crews, bowsers and support appliances from Methwold, Downham, Swaffham, Fakenham, Thetford, Watton, Wymondham, East Harling, Brandon and Newmarket were involved in fighting theinferno.
An ambulance was called when it became known that people had been in the area affected, but they were later accountedfor.
Most of the fire appliances were released at 11.26pm because of fading light, with just two being kept on scene overnight to continue damping down.
But a further five crews went in at 4.38am yesterday to deal with a deep-seated peat fire, and some were still on scene damping down hotspots yesterdayafternoon.
Forestry Commission business manager Mike Taylor said the rave was on a site next to where the firestarted.
“This is an area for people to come and walk in not to hold illegal raves,” hesaid.
“Visitors need to be careful not to leave cigarette ends and broken glass, and they should not be using barbecues which are prohibited under ourbylaws.”
Mr Taylor said the area affected by the fire was a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area, with partly-matured Scots pine and ten-year-old Corsican pine creating a habitat fornightjars.
He said the hot, dry spell had raised the fire danger from high to extreme, and he urged visitors to alert the emergency services to any fires immediately.