Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are on standby again as the major grass blaze on Salisbury Plain re-ignites after army activities in recent days.
Despite the fire only just being put out after two weeks, the army made the decision to continue operations, firing live ammunition on the plains – causing another huge blaze.
The fire service say they are unable to tackle the fire because it’s “within the live firing range” and can only work to “prevent the flames from spreading outside of the impact area”.
It can’t be accessed by an aircraft carrying water, due to the safety restrictions of the impact zone.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The fire is well within the impact zone, we have fire wardens monitoring the site and, if the flames start to spread outside of that area, we can bring in the Fire and Rescue Service to assist.
“We fully appreciate the inconvenience caused to the communities in and around the Plain. The fire itself is not a risk to property, but we do recognise that the smoke is very unpleasant.
“The MOD takes the safety of our military personnel and the public seriously and we would like to reassure local residents and others that we are doing everything possible to reduce the risks. We will continue to monitor the situation and share updates.”
Public Health England says that residents in areas affected by smoke should stay indoors, and keep their doors and windows closed.
“Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed and switch on air conditioning systems to recycle or recirculate air. If people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.”
They added: “Smoke can irritate air passages, the skin and the eyes, leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. It can also worsen existing problems such as asthma and people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times.
“Anyone concerned about their symptoms should contact NHS 111.”
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