Studland cut off as fire breaks out across tinder dry heath

Access to the Studland peninsula is closed as around 90 firefighters from across Dorset tackle a large heath fire that is on either side of Ferry Road.

Fire crews were first called to the blaze at Studland Heath at 1.12 pm on Friday 12th August 2022.

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Studland Fire
Mike Cheesman
Studland Fire
Izzy McEwan

The last passengers to get on the ferry over to Studland were stopped and had to return back over the ferry and go the road route back to Purbeck

Ferry Road is closed

As the fire crews and the National Trust try to prevent the further spread of the fire, Ferry Road has been closed. There is no access from and towards Swanage.

Sandbanks Ferry is only operating a service for emergency vehicles and is taking beachgoers, who parked near the ferry, back over to Sandbanks.

There are also vehicle tailbacks from Wareham to Swanage as the Studland Road from Corfe Castle has been closed except for access for local residents.

Studland Fire
Lorraine West

The view from the Studland Road viewpoint towards Poole Harbour

Studland Fire
Arthur Cheesman

The view from the beach at Sandbanks

“Our crews are fighting the fire on all sides”

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Brad Stevens said:

“The fire affects an area of around 200 metres by 200 metres, and is generating a lot of smoke. Anyone in the local area who is concerned should keep doors and windows closed.

“Our crews are fighting the fire on all sides, using multiple jets and beaters, and National Trust staff are using machinery to create a fire break.”

“Anyone who is currently on the peninsula will be able to leave via the chain ferry, which is running one-way with passengers towards Poole only.

“This will be very busy as the evening goes on, so people are asked to be mindful of the potential delays and prepare accordingly.”

Studland Fire
Mike Cheesman
Studland Fire
Izzy McEwan

No access to the Studland peninsula via the Sandbanks Ferry or Ferry Road

People are being asked to stay away

Anyone in the Poole Harbour area is being asked to stay away from the chain ferry route, so it can continue to assist the emergency services.

Crews that have gone to assist include those from Swanage, Wareham, Springbourne, Blandford, Poole, Westbourne, Christchurch, Bridport, Beaminster, Bere Regis, Ringwood, Hythe, Redhill Park, Verwood, Shaftesbury, Wimborne and New Milton, as well as a support unit from Dorchester and water carriers from Ringwood and Eastleigh.

Church Knowle fire
Amelia Coffen

Fire at Church Knowle

Fire at Church Knowle

Earlier there was also a fire in a farmer’s field at Ridgeway Hill in Church Knowle near Corfe Castle. Around 35 firefighters tackled the large blaze that started around 12 noon.

It was brought under control by crews, including those from Swanage and Wareham by 1.32 pm, using multiple jets and beaters.

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