Marines start common blaze
THE Royal Marines have admitted causing a second fire on Woodbury Common – the day after scores of firefighters battled a blaze which tore through hundreds of acres of gorse.
THE Royal Marines have admitted causing a second fire on Woodbury Common - the day after scores of firefighters battled a blaze which tore through hundreds of acres of gorse.
The Journal understands the fire started in gorse half a mile from the Four Firs car park, when sparks from a fired blank cartridge caught dry foliage alight.
Officers based the Lymptsone Commando Training Camp (CTC) have denied firearm practise was responsible for last week's fire, which destroyed hundreds of acres of common.
In a bid to prevent further blazes, the commando training camp has banned any activities on Woodbury Common which carry the risk of fire - using flammable or explosive substances - while the area is so dry.
Royal Marine spokesman Dave Fradley said the fire caused by the blank cartridge had been extinguished with half and hour.
He said troops had not been in the area when the large-scale fire broke out - but had offered assistance to the fire brigade as soon as they were alerted to the blaze.
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He said: "The fire was caught and put out within 30 minutes. Nobody was injured during the incident.
"We take our responsibilities on Woodbury Common very seriously and have imposed a blanket firing ban on the common.