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Firefighters battle large blaze at Pennington common

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DOZENS of firefighters tackled a blaze which destroyed a large swathe of gorseland on a popular green in Pennington.

Nearby residents were urged to keep their doors and windows shut amid reports of huge plumes of smoke and high flames billowing from Pennington common, off Ramley Road and Wainsford Road.

Multiple fire crews spent over four hours battling to contain the emergency yesterday (Sunday), and some remained longer to damp down the scene.

(Photo: Nicholas Couzens)
(Photo: Nicholas Couzens)

The alarm was raised around 2.30pm, with reports the inferno was engulfing two hectares of land.

Crews attending included Lymington, New Milton, Lyndhurst, Burley, Beaulieu and Ringwood.

Together with colleagues from Eastleigh, Portchester and Emsworth, they managed to prevent spread to the surrounding gorse and woodland.

One Twitter post by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service at the time of the incident said: “Multiple crews are attending a wildfire in Pennington, New Forest.

(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)

“Residents are advised to keep doors and windows shut and avoid the area.”

One resident tweeted: “We had some distant smoke in Lymington, it was across a wide area.

“Smell got strong for a while here so we shut our door and windows for a bit.”

Police closed a number of roads in the area to assist with traffic management while the incident was dealt with.

They also carried out house-to-house visits, including in Ramley Road, Wainsford Road, Lawn Road and Oliver Road.

A spokesperson for the Hampshire force told the A&T the fire service was leading the investigation into the blaze’s cause.

They added: “HIWFRS contained the fire to nearby heathland and confirmed that there was no wider risk to local residents.”

No details are available as to the cause of the wildfire, which happened as the New Forest remained on high alert due to dry conditions following the recent hot weather.

(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)

A ban on barbecues, campfires and bonfires remains in place.

In the wake of the incident, local Liberal Democrat town and district councillor Jack Davies urged people to take extra care when visiting Forest areas.

“It’s horrible to see the common on fire but I would like to thank the firefighters for their efforts to control the blaze and prevent it spreading further,” he said.

“During times like these where the ground is exceptionally dry, people need to be extra careful around areas like the common to prevent fires from happening.

“As for how it started, it’s best not to get into a blame game until after the fire service has fully investigated the blaze.”

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