Senior firefighter's warning on naked flames and barbecues after huge blaze in south Shropshire

‘Please take care’ was the message from fire chiefs as they launched a probe into the cause of a huge blaze at a Shropshire beauty spot.

The fire seen on Tuesday evening. Photo: Phil Davies
The fire seen on Tuesday evening. Photo: Phil Davies

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has confirmed it will be investigating a gorse fire which took hold of a large area of land in Cwmdale, near Church Stretton – threatening important wildlife habitats – on Tuesday evening.

While there is currently ‘no indication’ of what might have been the cause of the blaze, they have asked people not to use naked flames, go wild camping or light barbecues in such vulnerable landscapes.

Group manager at SFRS, Lee Baker said: “The crews were met with quite a difficult situation in terms of the fact the fire was high on a hill, sat at about a 45-degree incline, among trees, gorse and heathland. The crews worked incredibly hard and did a really good job in containing the spread of the fire and we had some feedback from the Environment Agency and Heritage England.

“We don’t know the cause of the fire, it’s being investigated, but we would advise people who are in the area not to use naked flames, to go wild camping or light barbecues due to the conditions up there.”

Crews battled for about four hours to put out the blaze, which spread quickly, threatening wildlife habitats. They were back on the scene yesterday morning to detect other hotspots and also used a drone to ensure that they hadn’t missed anything.

A number of firefighters attended from stations in Church Stretton, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Craven Arms, Newport, Baschurch and Tweedale. There were no firefighter injuries reported.

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