19 June 2024

UPDATE: Helicopter deployed for a water drop to put out fires on Salisbury Plain

Here’s the latest from the fires at Salisbury Plain.

Yesterday, a helicopter was deployed for a water drop and according to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue (DWFRS), it successfully doused large areas of fire around the impact area. Firefighting continued on site last night until it got dark.

DWFRS resources are back on the scene this morning (14th July 2022) including two water carriers, a small 4×4 appliance and a fire engine and are providing the water supply to the helicopter, which will be flying again today.

At 9.30 am this morning DWFRS said, “There are some small pockets of fire left in the northern area of the plain. The helicopter is being deployed again this morning to extinguish these small areas of fire and further dampen down any ‘hot spots’ and review the area.”

At 4pm today (13th July 2022), the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) Facebook page provided an update on the ongoing fires at Salisbury Plain.

They said, “the fires in the impact area are still burning but are much reduced. Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service remain on site and are dampening down where access is permitted.

“This afternoon and early evening, a helicopter will be dropping water around the periphery of the impact area. They cannot drop water directly over the impact area as it requires low flying, which would put the crew at risk if unexploded ordnance were to be set off by the heat. More water will be dropped tomorrow and this may continue into Friday.

“This is unlikely to put the fire out but will assist in containment. Again, we apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience.”

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said, “We have fire engines from Wimborne and Salisbury, small 4×4 appliances from Christchurch and Wimborne, and water carriers from Poole and Andover on scene.

“Firefighters are again working with military personnel in areas where it is safe to contain the fires.”

We will continue to update this article with information as we get it.

Image Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were altered by the military that there was a fire on Salisbury Plain at around midday on Monday 11th July 2022.

The fire service was unable to attend the scene on Monday as it was within the impact area and there was a risk of unexploded ordnance.

Yesterday (12th July 2022), Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire on the Plain near Enford, outside of the impact area with four fire engines.

At 4.45pm yesterday, a spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said, “The fires on Salisbury Plain are being brought under control, although the changing wind direction is proving a challenge.

“A number of small fires that started yesterday (11th July) merged to become two large fires, one near Enford and one near Urchfont.

“Due to the hard work of military personnel, supported by firefighters from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service last night and this afternoon, the fire near Enford is almost extinguished, with damping down continuing.

“The larger fire near Urchfont, affecting an area of approx. 1,500m by 5,000m is still well alight, but military personnel and firefighters from DWFRS are on scene and have prevented it from spreading further. A second fire near Urchfont, that has broken out this afternoon, is also being tackled, covering an area of approx. 1,000m by 1,000m.”

This morning at 8.30am a reinspection was carried out to obtain the condition of the fire today, where the problem areas are, and what the plan should be.

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty