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Emergency Firefighting *Updated

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Aug, 2011 01:56 PM

200 firefighters tackled the largest fire for 35 years on Upton Heath, Poole, last night. Homes were evacuated and crews worked hard to bring the fire under control.

Emergency Firefighting *Updated

Dorset Firefighters tackle the blaze on Upton Heath. Photo Credit - BBC News

Keith Skelton, Churchwarden of Christ Church Creekmoor, said, “There were a couple of roads up by Broadstone that were evacuated. There’s still a lingering smell of smoke this morning, permeating into houses and even garages.”

The Rural Dean of Poole, Revd Jean de Garis, organised emergency staff in a community centre in Lychett Minster. The parish of Corfe Mullen was also affected, with the flames merely 100 metres from some homes.

The Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings, paid tribute today to the skills of the firefighters and the willingness of the public to step in and help.

He said, “The Dorset heath fires near Poole were dangerous, and their threat to local wildlife and neighbouring homes was very real. We are thankful for the quick thinking and expertise of the fire crews, and are glad that no more damage was done. We now pray for courage and wisdom for those involved in the clean-up operation.”

The Revd Pamela Walker, Vicar of Corfe Mullen, said this morning, “We had some upset children because it was children’s club night. Our youth leaders were talking about it. We take it as part of life, I think, but obviously, everybody’s very upset about it. As far as I’m aware it’s under control, but we’re available if anyone needs us.”


Lychett Minster had a dozen emergency planning people in their church and community hall, including housing association officers. Revd Jean de Garis attended between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, with a church group on standby to provide help and refreshments. The group were called at 9pm to say that the worst was over and help was no longer required.

Revd de Garis said: "It felt good to be able to be called on, but praise the Lord, help wasn't needed. We'll be ready another time if need be."

Further information contact
Michael Ford, Communications Co-ordinator:
01722 438651,


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