Firefighters battle large blaze at scenic woodland

Blaze engulfs forest

Firefighters battled a large blaze yesterday at a scenic Norfolk wood popular with families and dog walkers.

Nine fire engines and two specialist appliances were called in to battle the fire at Fritton Wood off the A143 outside Great Yarmouth, which was reported at 3.30pm.

At its height about 100sq m of the wood was engulfed by flame and smoke.

The fire was reported by Great Yarmouth couple Matthew Charlton and Emma Long who were walking in the forest with Mr Charlton's three children, Aimee, Courtney and Billy.

While his partner rang the fire brigade Mr Charlton tried to contain the fire by moving branches away from it – but despite his brave efforts the blaze soon spread to trees.

Mr Charlton, 34, from Salisbury Road, said: 'I could see some smoke so we went to have a look. At first we thought it was some controlled fire, but there was no one around at all.

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'When I saw it it was clear it was a big fire. While Emma rang the fire brigade I cleared some branches away from the fire to stop it spreading.

'The wind was fuelling the fire and it spread to trees very quickly.

'Then police, an ambulance and the fire brigade turned up and I was told to move away.'

Because of the size of the blaze nine fire engines from Norfolk and Suffolk were called in to tackle it.

A water carrier from Hethersett and a control unit from Wymondham also attended the fire.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said the ambulance service was also on scene to provide medical cover for the firefighters.

The fire service said last night that the fire was under control by about 7.45pm but that some firefighters would remain at the scene throughout the night as a precaution.

Fire crews battled a blaze which raged through two acres of a popular north Suffolk tourist spot yesterday afternoon.

The fire at Dunwich Forest was reported at 12.35pm.

Fire appliances from Southwold, Halesworth, Lowestoft, Leiston and Saxmundham were called out to put out the blaze

They had the fire fully surrounded by 2.30pm and put it out completely by 3pm.

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk