Firefighters investigate cause of blaze on Ashdown Forest

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a blaze which spread to nearly 40 acres of the Ashdown Forest last night.


They left the scene at 10am today, more than 12 hours after they were first alerted in calls from the public.

They came from across East Sussex – Crowborough, Mayfield, Heathfield, Uckfield, Forest Row, Lewes, and Seaford – and from West Sussex and Kent.

They used Land Rovers, and all-terrain vehicles to access the site and used beaters and flexpacks to fight the fire which spread across nearly 40 acres in a valley area behind Duddleswell.

Ashdown Forest Rangers supported the effort and Sussex Police used a drone to survey the fire ground.

Firefighters will return during today to re-inspect the area.

Numerous calls

Incident commander Andrew Gausden said numerous calls were received at 9.30pm last night from members of the public and the police about the fire which took hold quickly and was significant.

“It is always challenging with forest fires in gaining access. We used off-road vehicles (five Land Rovers) and received assistance from Kent Fire and Rescue who brought in their all-terrain vehicles to help access the scene.


“We do not know the cause of the fire yet. We are working closely with Sussex Police and the Ashdown Forest Rangers to investigate the cause. We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time. Investigations will take place over the next few days.

“We would like to thank West Sussex Fire & Rescue, Kent Fire & Rescue, Ashdown Forest Rangers, and Sussex Police for their assistance with this incident.”

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