Fire that ripped across Dartmoor was 'caused by member of the public'

Huge three-mile wide blaze that ripped across Dartmoor despite freezing conditions that gripped Britain last week was ‘accidentally caused by a member of the public’

  • Firefighters battled the roaring blaze in Dartmoor through the night on Thursday 
  • It is not clear exactly how the fire was caused by the member of public
  • But fire service has warned people to ‘avoid using any naked flames on moors’

A huge three-mile wide fire which ripped across Dartmoor was accidentally caused by a member of the public.

Firefighters battled the roaring blaze through the night on Thursday after it began on a strip of remote moorland near Tavistock, Devon.

The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service deployed five pumps and other units to tackle the blaze which was put out by 10am the next day. No injuries were reported.

The fire roared in spite of the ‘dangerous’ blizzards and sub-zero temperatures brought by the ‘Baltic Beast’ – or Beast from the East II.

While it is not clear exactly how the fire was caused by the member of public, the service has warned Britons to ‘avoid using any naked flames on the moors’ such as camp fires or BBQs.

A huge three-mile wide fire which ripped across Dartmoor was accidentally caused by a member of the public (pictured)

Firefighters battled the roaring blaze (pictured) through the night on Thursday after it began on a strip of remote moorland near Tavistock, Devon

The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service deployed five pumps and other units to tackle the blaze which was put out by 10 am the next day (the aftermath, pictured). No injuries were reported

They also reminded visitors that trips to Dartmoor during England’s third national lockdown must be an essential journey.

The fire service said ‘natural fire breaks’ in the area had helped contain the blaze, which burned out on its own overnight.

In a statement, the fire service said: ‘Although it’s winter, wildfires can spread very quickly to a large area, so avoid using any naked flames on the moors, including camp fires and BBQs.

‘Please take great care with cigarettes.

‘We would like to remind everyone not to travel to the moors unless it is an essential journey.

The fire (pictured) roared in spite of the ‘dangerous’ blizzards and sub-zero temperatures brought by the ‘Baltic Beast’ – or Beast from the East II

While it is not clear exactly how the fire (pictured) was caused by the member of public, the service has warned Britons to ‘avoid using any naked flames on the moors’ such as camp fires or BBQs

Pictures on taken during the fire showed a large stretching blaze which illuminated the night sky – and was reportedly seen from as far as Plymouth and Cornwall. 

Photographer Matt Gilley said the scene was ‘Biblical’ adding: ‘The hills are like a silhouette from the smoke.’

No residents or animals were injured, reports claim. 

The fire service also reminded visitors that trips to Dartmoor (the aftermath of the blaze, pictured) during England’s third national lockdown must be an essential journey

The fire service said ‘natural fire breaks’ in the area had helped contain the blaze (the aftermath, pictured), which burned out on its own overnight

Rob Steemson, Dartmoor National Park emergency officer, said the blaze was estimated to be around 3.1 miles wide at the time.

He said it was not clear how or where the fire started, but that ‘strong’ winds were pushing it further across the moorland.

Mr Steemson added that park rangers are in attendance along with the fire service.

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