East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services were called to the scene of a large fire on the Ashdown Forest at around 9.30pm last night.
Six fire engines, four Land Rovers, a water carrier and the Control Unit, were in attendance including crews from Crowborough, Mayfield, Heathfield, Uckfield, Forest Row, Lewes and Seaford together with support from West Sussex and Kent Fire and Rescue. They were also supported by Ashdown Forest Rangers and Sussex Police who used a drone to survey the ground.
Andrew Gausden Incident Commander said:
We received numerous calls last night from members of the public and the police regarding a fire in the Ashdown Forest. The fire took hold quickly and was significant with approximately 15 hectares alight in a valley area behind the back of Duddleswell.
It is always challenging with forest fires in gaining access. We used off road vehicles and received assistance from Kent Fire and Rescue who brought in their all-terrain vehicles to help access the scene.
We do not know the cause of the fire yet. We are working closely with Sussex Police and the Ashdown Forest Rangers to investigate the cause. We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time. Investigations will take place over the next few days.
We would like to thank West Sussex Fire & Rescue, Kent Fire & Rescue, Ashdown Forest Rangers and Sussex Police for their assistance with this incident.
Two fires in February were started accidentally by volunteers during planned burning.