The Danger of Fires in Woodland

I received a phone call from a resident who informed that two fire appliances had been called previously to a fire in Fritton woods. This was not the first time that the fire service had been called out to deal with such a fire.

On investigation it would appear that these fires are "peat" fires which spread underground. They are usually started by people who light a fire in the woods and believe they have put it out, when in fact under the surface the peat subsoil has been heated up and is smouldering away. This smoulder will continue to travel underground until it either runs out of energy or hits a rich oxygen source. That rich oxygen source is the air on the surface and when it reaches that, it ignites into a surface flame fire. This can occur well away from the original site. When you light a fire in the woods you are setting into motion a ticking bomb that could go off at any time day or night.

Unfortunately those who set the original fire and thought that they have extinguished it, never see the outcome because it can take time for this type of underground fire to become obvious and they will have inevitably left the area before any signs become evident.

Cllr Adrian Myers
Tribune Party
Lothingland Ward

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