Fire crews from across Dorset and Hampshire, including teams from Wareham and Swanage were called in to tackle a heath fire at Stoborough near Wareham.
The fire happened just after 2 pm on Sunday 26th June 2022 and the smoke was so intense that the main A351 road between Wareham and Corfe Castle had to be closed, causing major travel disruption.
Vehicles were diverted onto country lanes
Vehicles trying to get to Swanage were diverted onto country lanes, only to end up in jams caused by cars trying to head in the opposite direction.
The buses couldn’t get through, leaving passengers unable to reach their destinations. The road was reopened at about 4 pm.
“Multiple fire crews from around the county”
Wareham Fire Station reported:
“One fire engine and the UniMog was sent to Stoborough Heath to a large heath fire, where we were joined by multiple fire crews from around the county including a water carrier from Hampshire.”
Important heathland habitat
A large swathe of Stoborough Heath was destroyed by the fire.
The area is designated as a National Nature Reserve which was created to help preserve the heathland and the rare wildlife that the habitat supports.
Swanage Fire Station sent both its off road appliance and its Land Rover. It added:
“All attending crews worked hard to contain the fire and damping down is still continuing into this evening.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known.