Salisbury Plain fire: What the Ministry of Defence has said amid raging wild fires today

  • Watch the fire rip through grassland on Salisbury Plain after catching alight yesterday

The Ministry of Defence says it is continuing to monitor a huge wild fire at Salisbury Plain which broke out on land used for military training yesterday (11 July).

It comes as residents in the area are being warned to keep their windows and doors closed after 'unimaginable' levels of smoke have been billowing from the blaze.

They reported a 'fog-like blanket of smoke' this morning, but firefighters are unable to attend the fire due to unexploded ordnance in the area.

Thick smoke filled the skies in the areas around the wild fires this morning Credit: Twitter: @droflas_

A spokesperson for the MoD said today (12 July): “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.”

The Ministry of Defence have confirmed all all live firing has been stopped until the fires are extinguished.

They said the fires are contained within the impact area, the part of the training area which ordnance is fired into. This area is not accessible to the general public.

The fire comes as the heatwave is continuing today in the South West, with the Met Office also issuing an amber weather warning which will come into force on Sunday 17 July when temperatures could hit the low-30Cs.

Earlier today, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The service was advised by the military that there was a fire on Salisbury Plain.

"We were not required to attend as it was within the impact area, and it is not safe for firefighters to go there due to the risk of unexploded ordnance.

"Last night, we did have four fire engines and two water carriers at a fire on the plain near Enford, outside of the impact area.

"As of 9am this morning (12 July), we have no resources in attendance as the incident is being managed by our colleagues in the military, but we are liaising closely with them and will continue to offer support.

"If they request it, we may return to the scene if we can safely assist.

"We are aware the smoke plume is travelling some distance, towards Swindon, and would encourage residents to keep windows and doors closed to avoid breathing this in."