Arsonist strikes in East Devon as firefighters tackle ‘deliberate’ blazes set near woodland

An arsonist is believed to be behind two fires in an East Devon field which threatened to spread to woodland.

East Devon firefighters were on Sunday lunchtime (May 28) called to Shute Woods, near KIlmingon, where they found a blaze in a field had spread to a woodland bank.

A second blaze discovered nearby prompted firefighters to believe the fires had been started deliberately.

East Devon

Firefighters said the blazes were started deliberately.
Photos; Axminster Fire Station.

Axminster firefighters called to tackle the blaze said the fire was at risk of spreading to nearby woodland.

An Axminster fire station spokesperson said: “Unfortunately both of these fires had appeared to have been set deliberately and had it not been noticed by a member of the public and our crew acted so quickly the fire could have spread through the woodland behind.”

The crew was called to a field on the Kilmington side of Shute Woods at around 1.15pm on Sunday (May 28), where they found flames had spread several metres, setting fire to a bank of woodland.

Firefighters use a hose reel jet in a bid to quickly douse the flames and prevent any further damage.

A second fire was spotted further up the field, around 10 metres from the initial blaze.

Axminster

Photo: Axminster Fire Station.

An Axminster fire station spokesperson said: “Fire control received a call reporting a fire in a field bear to Shute Woods on the Kilmington side. Control immediately mobilised Axminster.

“Once on scene crews confirmed a fire in a field which had spread to the bank of the woodland approximately 65-70 metres from the nearest access point.

“Crews got to work to extend the hose reel jet to allow them to get water to the fire front and prevent it from spreading further than it already had.

“While crews were dealing with this first seat of fire a second seat of fire was located a further 100 metres up the field from where crews were tackling the first fire.

“Once the first fire had been extinguished and crews had turned over the area to ensure it wouldn’t re-ignite, the fire appliance was re-positioned to allow better access to the second fire.”

Firefighters confirmed grassland measuring around 5×2 metres, and a spread of 10-metres of embankment was burned by the first fire, and an additional 2×2 metres of grass was damaged because of the second blaze.

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