The official announcement on the Cornwall Fire & Rescue section of the Cornwall Council web site concerning the most recent “wildfire” in the vicinity of Brown Willy/Roughtor is fairly bland:
Rough Tor area at 22/04/2021 09:47
Cornwall Fire and Rescue resources have been in attendance throughout the day at a multiple seated fire covering an extremely large area, crews have been using beaters and hosereel jets to check the spread of the fire. There have been appliances in attendance from Delabole and Wadebridge, also the Wadebridge Water Carrier. A Wildfire Officer is on scene this evening and monitoring the incident which is likely to progress well through the night. Arson is suspected, Devon & Cornwall Police have been informed.
Update 0030 hours: Approximately two hectares of gorse is affected, with hot spots continuing to smoulder, crews are monitoring and continuing to damp down.
My bold! The assorted pictures on Twitter are much more revealing, including some from the intrepid investigative reporters from Davidstow.info:
There were two similar fires in the same area around this time last year. Since then some CCTV cameras have been installed:
What additional steps could be taken to try and apprehend the guilty party(s), who apparently have no qualms about incinerating the local wildlife on a regular basis?
News has reached us via the What’s On in Camelford Facebook page of another big blaze on Bodmin Moor.
Emma Williams has a good view of the Moor from her garden, and reports this morning:
Another fire been started at the same place near Roughtor absolutely ridiculous! They are putting people’s lives at risk as if the fire service doesn’t have enough to deal with!
Graeme and I had just gone out into our front garden to let the dog out when we noticed it and phoned it in at 12.20 AM. There were cars up on Davidstow Moor. I cannot understand why anyone would be driving around there at that time, and when the blue lights appeared they turned their headlights off.
It was small when we first saw it but within 5 – 10 minutes it had got to the size of what you see in the first photo and then kept spreading. Which is why we were suspicious that it hadn’t long been started due to the speed it spread.
Thanks very much to Emma for these pictures of the fire and its aftermath:
P.S. After a bike ride up on to Davidstow Moor, here are my own images of the two big blackened bits of Bodmin Moor:
This article is reproduced by kind permission of our sister website CoV-eHealth.org, for the benefit of surfers, coast path walkers and moor hikers resident in and around Camelford, North Cornwall. And elsewhere I suppose.
The United Kingdom’s National Police Chief’s Council has published new guidance on what constitutes a “reasonable excuse” to leave your residence during the current novel coronavirus lockdown. You can download a copy from:
Police BCU Commander for Cornwall, Temporary Chief Superintendant Ian Drummond-Smith said the recent guidance from the London-based National Police Chiefs Council was consistent with what his officers were doing on the ground but he reiterated that the public should not try and take advantage of the guidance.
He said: “Surfing has not been banned. It’s exercise and in Cornwall we know it’s a popular exercise. People can still surf. The question of driving a reasonable distance as per the NPCC guidelines, is ‘how far is reasonable’.
“The NPCC guidelines does not say whether you can or cannot drive to do your exercise. I am telling my officers people can surf and some may well drive to surf.”
Now all we denizens of the North Coast need to do is wait for the swell to be onshore and the wind to be offshore once again.
And to stay well over 2 meters away from anybody else with the same idea at the same time at the same beach!
Hence this afternoon Kasia and I decided to use our coronavirus constrained exercise period to investigate. Here’s our initial photo report:
On our way back to base we spotted these lambs in a field near the Moor. Please note that according to Julie Dowton of the Bodmin Moor Commoners this spring’s lambs haven’t been moved out onto the Moor just yet, and “no livestock were harmed” by the fire. However the High Moor is a site of special scientific interest, and all sorts of wildlife will undoubtedly have been terminally harmed.
Much more to come later, including a video we hope.
P.S. I just had a detailed description of the fire across 300 acres of Bodmin Moor from Rich Gibbons, Station Manager for the Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service. There are now lots more words to follow, but first some moving pictures from the middle of the Moor.
The only way to put the blaze out was to walk across the Moor to the fire front and use a traditional beater.
Something I hadn’t realised before is that soon after the fire on the Moor was ultimately extinguished another fire started in a building on Davidstow Airfield. Hence the confident use of the word “arson” in the title of this article. Here’s the site of the second attack: