FLAMES “30 to 40 feet high” tore through gorse near Sway and destroyed an acre of land yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.
Fire crews from Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Burley rushed to Forestry England land opposite Pitmore Lane just after 11am.
“Approximately one acre of gorse was 100% destroyed by fire,” a spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said.
“This was extinguished using three hose reel jets and beaters,” she added, explaining the scene was handed over to Forestry England just after 1pm.”
The fire was seen by retired Exxon Mobil executive Mac Hall, who has lived in the Forest for more than 50 years.
“My guess is the flames were 30 to 40 feet high,” he told the A&T.
“The fire went through [the area] very quickly – I guess because it’s all green growth but even so, I was surprised at how quick it was.”
“I’ve no idea how it started but I’d assume it was accidental – that’s because it was burning down wind and whenever the Forestry England start them they always ensure they do so downwind so they have it under control.”
A Forestry England spokesperson said: “The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
“The Forest is currently on amber alert of fire so it is essential that people do not light or use fire in the Forest as the risk of wildfires is high.
“Wildfires can spread quickly and have devastating effects on the Forest landscape and wildlife.”