Studland fire: Cars towed after driving over water hose to park

Three cars were lifted and towed away and around 60 fines issued by Purbeck Police to vehicles hampering the work of the fire service following the Studland fire in Dorset.

In blazing temperatures, around 90 firefighters fought to control the fire that destroyed nearly five hectares of protected heathland owned by the National Trust.

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Studland Heath after the fire
Swanage Coastguard
Aerial view of Studland fire
DWFireRescue

The National Trust says the fire has affected 4.8 hectares of heathland, which is home to some of the most rare reptiles and insects in the UK including the sand lizard

Firefighters still damping down hot spots

On the following day on Saturday 13th August 2022, Ferry Road was reopened and the Sandbanks Ferry resumed its usual service bringing beachgoers over from Poole, but with firefighters still damping down hot spots, vehicles were prohibited to park on the Ferry Road verge.

Swanage Coastguard reported:

“Sadly despite the warnings, visitors moved traffic cones and even the pipe from the high volume pump to park. Dorset Police had several cars removed and more will find a fine coming their way.”

Damping down Studland Heath fire
Swanage Fire Station

Swanage Fire crew returned early on Saturday morning to continue to hose down hot spots

Swanage Coastguard at Studland fire aftermath
Swanage Coastguard

To provide a water supply for the firefighters, Swanage Coastguard helped lay a large yellow hose pipe from Poole Harbour along Ferry Road

Cars get towed along Ferry Road in Studland
Purbeck Police

Three vehicles that had parked over the yellow hose pipe were lifted and towed away

Around 300 vehicles ignored the request

In order to provide the firefighters with a water supply, a yellow hose pipe had been laid along the side of Ferry Road. According to the police, around 300 vehicles ignored the request not to park over or around the pipe on the verge.

Purbeck Police said:

“Following a very busy day and a lot of amazing work from Wareham Fire Station, we were back in Studland trying to keep a safe environment for the fire service to carry on working on the fire damaged areas on Studland.

“Unfortunately some didn’t feel they could manage to assist and thought it ok to interfere with equipment or even drive over emergency services equipment to get a parking space!

“As a result we issued around 60 fines and three vehicles were lifted and towed away.”

Fire engines on Ferry Road
Purbeck Police

Ferry Road while the old World War ordance was made safe

Unexploded device

The careless parking was not all that the emergency services had to deal with in the aftermath of the fire, as an unexploded device believed to be from World War Two was found on the Studland heathland by firefighters. It was safely disposed of in a controlled explosion.

It’s not unusual to find old ordanance in Studland as the area was used for training during World War One and Two.

emergency services team from Swanage
Swanage Coastguard

The ‘Swanage Team’ – fire, coastguard and community first responder

“Good work from all the services”

Swanage Coastguard added:

“So in 48 hours the coastguard teams have dealt with a young casualty with a suspected spine injury at Knoll Beach, supported fire and police with suggesting people start to leave the beach as the fire was ongoing in the area, provided rescue safety cover for the fire service and a weever fish sting at Studland .

“Then today, proactive patrols to keep the public safe, a missing four year old found safely, and helped with a corden for the explosive ordnance disposal team and fire service to do a controlled explosion of ordnance.

“Good work from all the services.”

swanage coastguard team after Studland fire
Swanage Coastguard

Coastguard teams assisted the fire service to install a high volume pump at the Sandbanks Ferry terminal on the Studland side

A spokesperson for the National Trust said:

“The National Trust staff and volunteers have surveyed the site and have been able to rescue some stranded reptiles within the burn area.

“We continue to work closely with the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and would like to thank them for their prompt action and hard work.”

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