Salisbury Plain fire: Firefighters unable to attend fire due to unexploded ordnance

Residents are being urged to keep their windows and doors closed this morning (July 12) as smoke continues to billow from a fire on Salisbury Plain.

It happened on Monday on land used for military training, and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service says it had been advised by the military that there is a fire within the impact area near Urchfont.

The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that they have suspended live firing until the fires are extinguished.

A spokesperson from The Ministry of Defence said: “We are tracking several fires within the Salisbury Plain Training Area and can confirm there is no risk to the public at this time.  

“We are monitoring the fire and maintaining close communications with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service, who stand ready to assist should the fire spread beyond the impact area.”

Due to the location, the fire service is not in attendance. Firefighters cannot enter the affected area because of the risk of unexploded Ordnance.

It comes after the fire service issued a safety warning amid hot weather in the region.

People are being asked to take extra care with camp fires, bonfires and barbecues, as a new amber wildfire alert has been issued.

A level two heat alert is in place in the South West, with the Met Office also issuing an amber weather which will come into force on Sunday 17 July when temperatures could hit the low-30Cs.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Brad Stevens said: “While the sunshine is very welcome after the recent rains, it does mean an increased risk of wildfires starting.

"If you’re visiting our heathlands, woodlands or countryside, please avoid having a campfire and bring a picnic, not a barbecue – just a few simple steps can make a real difference.”

He added: “We’d also remind people to take care if having a barbecue or bonfire at home.

"All too often, we see property destroyed when an initially small fire suddenly gets out of control. Never leave a bonfire or barbecue unattended, and site them well away from fences, trees or buildings.”