THE LACK of recent rain has sparked a series of severe fires on and around the Ashdown Forest.
Up to 50 acres of woodland caught fire in the Kings Standing area of the Forest on Sunday, Eight fire engines and six Land Rovers from East Sussex Fire and Rescue tackled the blaze which broke out at about 1.45pm.
The blaze was under control by dusk but more firecrews returned to the area on Monday to make sure the fire did not re-ignite.
Firefighters were also called out to tackle a gorse fire next to the Cricket Ground in Chelwood Gate over the weekend. Seven appliances from Forest Row, Uckfield, Heathfield and Crowborough attended the scene, including three specialist Land Rover pump appliances. A spokesman explained the Land Rover is fitted with a water tank and pump, hoses and equipment to be able to cope with most small rural fires.
The water carrier, based at Uckfield, also attended the fire on Saturday, March 24 at 2.42pm and crews finally left the scene at 7.53pm. West Sussex crews also attended the fire which involved two hectares of forest alight. Hose reels and beaters were used to fight back the flames and get the situation under control.
Forest rangers were on the scene and provided advice to the crews tackling the fire. A re-inspection took place later in the evening and the incident was closed. The cause of the fire at this stage is unknown.