Crews called to spreading blaze near Sandwich bird sanctuary/nature reserve

The blaze can be seen from Cliffsend Photo Danielle Warrington

Fire crews were called to the scene of a large blaze by the mouth of the Sandwich estuary and the nature reserve/bird sanctuary this evening (May 8).

The fire, which was spreading, was visible from Cliffsend. Kent Fire and Rescue say it was not inside the bird observatory area.

Photo Kelly Davis

There were three fire engines and a specialist all terrain vehicle at the scene. Ambulance crews also attended.

Photo Matt Chinnery

Emergency services used Princes Golf Club car park as a command centre. A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “KFRS was called to Sandwich Bay at 8:42pm to report of grass and undergrowth alight.

Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

“Three fire engines and an all-terrain vehicle attended, and crews extinguished the fire which was approximately 100m x 20m in size. There were no reported casualties and the fire is believed to have started after a small bonfire became out of control.”

Crews left the scene at 11.06pm.

However, a witness at the scene says a 32-year-old Ramsgate man was found at the site suffering with a suspected broken leg and was taken to hospital. The witness, who drove the injured man’s friend back to Ramsgate, said: “He and his friend were on their way back from Sandwich and got lost.

Photo by Frazer Eldrige

“They could see the garage at Cliffsend and were trying to get back to that. He fell, broke his leg and then started sinking in the mud. His friend started the fire to try and keep him warm. It got out of hand.”

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “Ambulance crews were called a little earlier (around 7.30pm) to reports of a person with a leg injury. Ambulance crews attended Sandwich Bay and one person was assessed and treated before being taken to William Harvey Hospital.”

UPDATE: Wildlife Conservation in Thanet checked the area today (May 9) and said the burnt area is around 100m long. They added: “It is a restricted area, and part of a very important nature reserve. It is home to ancient dune pastures, invertebrates and nesting birds.

“Although the damage is not as bad as I thought, it will affect all the invertebrates and birds, including the nests.”

11 Comments

  1. How can this have happened? Someone has done this? They need to be found. People deserve to know…

    • If you actually read the article it tells you how the fire started. Common sense really is a gift isn’t it?

      • When I read the article first the information about the lads was not included. Their identities are still being protected.

  2. Starting a fire to keep warm? Its still quite hot in the evenings, and why didn’t they use a mobile phone to call for help? It sounds a bit fishy to me, hope the police are looking into it, because that little episode would have cost the tax payer quite a bit, I should imagine!

  3. Agree with all above also WHY WERE THEY NOT ADHERING TO LOCKDOWN? + WHOEVER WOULD BE IDIOTIC ENOUGH TO START A FIRE SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH ARSON? O.K. HE ADMITTED IT, HAD TO WHO ELSE COULD HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE? WHO WAS THE WITNESS (DRIVER) AND WHY BE STUPID ENOUGH TO HAVE SOMEONE IN A VEHICLE UNLESS FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD MEMBER IN LOCKDOWN GROUP? WHY TAKE HIM AWAY WHEN POLICE WOULD NEED TO INTERVIEW HIM ABOUT HIS ARSON, DELIBERATE OR NOT, WAS HE ATTENTION SEEKER? WHY NOT GO IN AMBULANCE WITH FRIEND? ALL VERY SUSPICIOUS! WERE THEY ATTEMPTING POACHING? MAY HAVE THOUGHT EASIER WAY AS HENS STOLEN AS SOON AS LOCKDOWN COMMENCED! OR STEALING RARE BIRD EGGS IF AS STATED ON DESIGNATED SITE? KATHY B. EDITOR MUST BE KEPT UPDATED AS WE ARE SO CONCERNED, MYSELF FOR THE WILDLIFE!

  4. I don’t know if Sandra has my problem, Macular Degeneration, which means losing your central vision, but if so using capital letters is easier because the type in these posts is very small! In my case I use Orange Fitover glasses supplied by the RNIB, which I highly recommend as they help reduce eye strain as well!

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