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Swinley Forest Fire 2011

The Fire

The Swinley Forest fire was the largest incident, in terms of resources and length of operations, ever dealt with by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. The forest fire affected 300 hectares of land,  55% of which was damaged by fire and forestry clearing operations.

The woodland is a mixed coniferous and broadleaf forest near Crowthorne and Winkfield, with a majority owned and managed by the Forestry Commission and other areas owned by Crown Estates.

The fire started on Monday 2 May 2011 and forced homes to be evacuated and roads to close as it spread quickly through the dry undergrowth.

Resources Used

Resources used by fire crews included 18 jets, 21 hose reels, two High Volume Pumps with 6.5km water relays, seven Water Bowsers, four portable dams, an Urban Search and Rescue Module and a military fuel tanker.

A dozen fire and rescue services (including London, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire plus wildfire experts from Northumberland) supported the operation.

A Stop message, sent when the fire was largely extinguished apart from underground hotspots, was issued at 5.43pm on Sunday 8 May.

After the Fire

Around 51,000 trees has been replanted since the fire and deliberately spaced to prevent future flames jumping from tree to tree as they had in the incident.