A FOREST that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories could be at risk of severe wildfires after this week’s heatwave.
Firefighters from East Sussex Fire and Rescue said they were working with rangers in Ashdown Forest to protect the area during the persistently hot weather.
A spokeswoman for the fire brigade said the forest was “dry as tinder, which greatly increases the risk of forest fires”.
With visitor numbers expected to increase as schools close for the summer, firefighters want to help people enjoy the area safely, responsibly and in accordance with local regulations.
To protect the forest, a number of activities are prohibited; These include off-road cycling, camping and overnight stays in parking lots, barbecues and campfires, and the use of metal detectors.
“Other parts of the UK have seen devastating fires and the service is urging the public to do everything in their power to prevent this from happening here,” the spokeswoman said.
Anyone driving into the country is urged to have a picnic instead of barbecuing, not toss cigarette butts out of car windows and to heed safety signs.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue said anyone spotting a fire in the country must dial 999 immediately, estimate the size of the fire if possible, provide a map reference, landmark or What3Word address combination to tell emergency services where it is Fire is, and wait for the arrival of fire news.
People should move away from the fire and smoke quickly and safely, and not try to fight fires themselves.
In 2019, two forest fires broke out in the forest, affecting around 35 hectares of land.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20300238.winnie-pooh-forest-faces-risk-severe-wildfire/?ref=rss Winnie-the-Pooh Forest threatened with severe wildfire