Upton Heath Fire

  peter99co 11 Jun 11
Locked
Answered

Why do we not allow as many volunteers as possible to fight these fires.

I know health and safety is an issue but to try and stop a fire like this needs many 'hands to the pumps' To see just a few people over such a large area seems pathetic.

They turn away people just trying to take photographs but if they handled volunteers properly it must be a better way.

Heath Fire

  grey george 11 Jun 11

Not that many years ago every access into forestry commission land had a stand holding fire beaters. Basically a rubber flap on the end of a pole. With the insidious H&S regulations and most people having a total lack of situational awareness, it now seems prudent to leave these situations to the professionals. A sudden wind gust can change a smoldering heath in to a fast moving wall of flame.

  Forum Editor 12 Jun 11
Answer

"Why do we not allow as many volunteers as possible to fight these fires."

This is why:-

"Steve Davis, volunteer manager at the trust, was an eyewitness and said: "I was amazed by the height of the flames and the intensity and speed of the fire. I saw it jump several times around 200m in a matter of seconds."

Thousands of animals were killed in the fire, which is bad enough, without adding people as well.

  Forum Editor 12 Jun 11

fourm member

I agree. Gulls were seen on the Icelandic volcanic island of Surtsey within two weeks of its appearance from beneath the sea, and other birds were nesting there within three years.

The old saying that 'nature abhors a vacuum' is undoubtedly true. Upton Heath's recovery will proceed at its own pace, and I think the only sure thing is that the speed of recovery is unpredictable - let's check back in 25 years to see what has happened.

  Nontek 12 Jun 11

let's check back in 25 years to see what has happened.

Yeah right, when I am a 101 I might have lost interest!

  peter99co 13 Jun 11

I do understand the fire was out of control when it jumped several times around 200m in a matter of seconds.

It was always going to be a a bad situation then.

It is a pity the locals can't respond before it gets out of control. Having said that it was believed to have been a deliberate fire.

I get an impression that controlled burns may be a better way in future to reduce the amount of burnable material. This is done in some places quite successfully.

  wee eddie 13 Jun 11

I may be wrong but, I was under the impression that 'Fire' was a natural part of Heathland Development.

  Chegs ®™ 14 Jun 11

The farmer I used to help out after school would often burn large areas of gorse bush,some of these could easily get flames 20-50Ft depending on how dry the bush & how much wind was blowing,occasionally requiring the attendance of the fire brigade even though it was a controlled-burn.Various areas locally are often ablaze as the weather improves,last saturday evening a large area of the seashore was burning as I'd commented to my partner about the huge pall of smoke drifting seawards and there was a piece in the local paper about the fire.

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