Inferno at Weymouth's RSPB Radipole Lake reserve

Dorset Echo: The blaze at the Radipole Lake reserve The blaze at the Radipole Lake reserve

FIRE raged through a nature reserve after reed bed burning spiralled out of control.

Around 75 firefighters in 12 appliances and six Land Rovers were called to Radipole Lake bird reserve off Weymouth Way yesterday morning.

A fire service spokesman said the blaze, which had been planned to manage reed beds, spread rapidly after the wind picked up.

Dorset Police cordoned off part of the southbound lane of Weymouth Way to assist crews gaining access to the land.

The force also launched its marine Rib in the reserve to help co-ordinate the fire service’s response as well as the force helicopter to feed back live aerial images of the blaze to fire control.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service’s area manager Keith Bacon said: “Silver command for the incident said that around six hectares of reed bed had caught fire, which we believe started out as a controlled burn but was then picked up by the wind and got out of control.

“Officers used hosereel jets and beaters to put out the fire and the aerial photography provided by Dorset Police on this job has been priceless.”

Mr Bacon added that fire crews from Weymouth were assisted by crews from Wareham, Bridport and Lyme Regis as well as the Land Support Unit from Hamworthy and officers from Bournemouth.

He also said that one fire fighter required treatment from a paramedic for exhaustion.

Sergeant Luke Wilcock of Dorset Police helped divert traffic past the scene on Weymouth Way.

He said: “Obviously, our first priority is to ensure the safety of the firefighters as they carry out their work as well as the safety of the public.

“We also needed to ensure that motorists were still able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.”

Nick Tomlinson, Radipole Lake’s reserve manager for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was also at the scene as the fire burned.

He said: “This was a controlled burn that got out of hand after a freak gust of wind.

“Luckily, we’re not in the nesting season so I can say confidently that there’s been no negative impact on the wildlife here because of this.

“Of course it is regretful that this has happened at all but in the longer term it may actually prove to be beneficial.

“Reed beds are like lawns, they respond to regular management and may well grown back stronger next year as a result of this.”

Mr Tomlinson also heaped praise on Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Police for the way they dealt with the incident as well as RSPB volunteers who also came to assist.

Comments (19)

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8:07am Wed 16 Sep 09

raymanta says...

This was no freak gust of wind it had been blowing hard all morning. The smuts from the fire were carried more than a mile from the scene. This was poor decision making.
This was no freak gust of wind it had been blowing hard all morning. The smuts from the fire were carried more than a mile from the scene. This was poor decision making. raymanta

12:07pm Wed 16 Sep 09

knivelhead51 says...

raymanta wrote:
This was no freak gust of wind it had been blowing hard all morning. The smuts from the fire were carried more than a mile from the scene. This was poor decision making.
totally agree with you there, but you have got to dmire the emergency service's for working together and getting the blaze under control
[quote][p][bold]raymanta[/bold] wrote: This was no freak gust of wind it had been blowing hard all morning. The smuts from the fire were carried more than a mile from the scene. This was poor decision making.[/p][/quote]totally agree with you there, but you have got to dmire the emergency service's for working together and getting the blaze under control knivelhead51

12:07pm Wed 16 Sep 09

[Chris] says...

Very poor decision making. How much loss of natures life has been lost with this high class mistake.......
Very poor decision making. How much loss of natures life has been lost with this high class mistake....... [Chris]

12:29pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Bollard says...

wrote:
Very poor decision making. How much loss of natures life has been lost with this high class mistake.......
Did you not read they story?
[quote][p][bold][Chris][/bold] wrote: Very poor decision making. How much loss of natures life has been lost with this high class mistake.......[/p][/quote]Did you not read they story? Bollard

1:06pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Jim bo says...

Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day!
The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.
Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc. Jim bo

1:22pm Wed 16 Sep 09

rook says...

Jim bo wrote:
Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day!
The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.
I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed.

Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea
[quote][p][bold]Jim bo[/bold] wrote: Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.[/p][/quote]I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed. Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea rook

1:59pm Wed 16 Sep 09

homeboy01 says...

what a load of rubbish, freak wind, try listening to the shipping forcast this wind was predicted just plain old ignorance. I bet Nick Tomlinson, Radipole Lake’s reserve manager isn't even local so will not know wind patterns in the area.
what a load of rubbish, freak wind, try listening to the shipping forcast this wind was predicted just plain old ignorance. I bet Nick Tomlinson, Radipole Lake’s reserve manager isn't even local so will not know wind patterns in the area. homeboy01

2:17pm Wed 16 Sep 09

magicmonkey says...

crispy duck and boiled aggs all round then
crispy duck and boiled aggs all round then magicmonkey

2:22pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Jim bo says...

rook wrote:
Jim bo wrote: Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.
I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed. Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea
As a regular visitor to the reserve I am well informed thank you, and the comment is no more dumb than the RSPB claiming "that there’s been no negative impact on the wildlife"!
[quote][p][bold]rook[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jim bo[/bold] wrote: Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.[/p][/quote]I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed. Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea[/p][/quote]As a regular visitor to the reserve I am well informed thank you, and the comment is no more dumb than the RSPB claiming "that there’s been no negative impact on the wildlife"! Jim bo

3:58pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Azphreal says...

I wonder why they did not have any fire fighting teams there in case of something like this happening i would have thought it would be law under health and safety.
I wonder why they did not have any fire fighting teams there in case of something like this happening i would have thought it would be law under health and safety. Azphreal

4:04pm Wed 16 Sep 09

rook says...

Jim bo wrote:
rook wrote:
Jim bo wrote: Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.
I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed. Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea
As a regular visitor to the reserve I am well informed thank you, and the comment is no more dumb than the RSPB claiming "that there’s been no negative impact on the wildlife"!
I agree entirely Jim Bo and am glad you admit your comment was wrong! The RSPB quote about no negative impact is dumb as is yours about them only caring about birds.

They are a bird-based charity, but even if it were true that they only cared about them, the birds on the reserve from Marsh Harriers to Bearded Tits all require the complete ecosystem to survive.
[quote][p][bold]Jim bo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rook[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jim bo[/bold] wrote: Completely irrisponsible behaviour to have a "controlled burn" in such weather conditions, this was not a freak wind, there were strong winds all day! The RSPB only care about birds, all other wildlife living in the reeds will have persihed such as snakes, shrews, mice, moths etc.[/p][/quote]I agree with the first paragraph, but the second is just completely dumb and obviously uninformed. Don't usually do this, but security word: wind-idea[/p][/quote]As a regular visitor to the reserve I am well informed thank you, and the comment is no more dumb than the RSPB claiming "that there’s been no negative impact on the wildlife"![/p][/quote]I agree entirely Jim Bo and am glad you admit your comment was wrong! The RSPB quote about no negative impact is dumb as is yours about them only caring about birds. They are a bird-based charity, but even if it were true that they only cared about them, the birds on the reserve from Marsh Harriers to Bearded Tits all require the complete ecosystem to survive. rook

4:17pm Wed 16 Sep 09

siratb says...

Nice to see the force chopper fanning the flames.

Still at this has probably been the most exciting job it has been on for a while- other than trying to catch people cycling on the prom ;)
Nice to see the force chopper fanning the flames. Still at this has probably been the most exciting job it has been on for a while- other than trying to catch people cycling on the prom ;) siratb

4:21pm Wed 16 Sep 09

portlandboy says...

Well who's responsable then? The Echo report has quotes from people who should know better than to have let this happen, but not the name of the fire-starter. In future, if such radical burning back is so bloody good for the quality of the reed beds, why not hold the November 5th bonfire celebrations there instead of the beach (there's a nice big car park nearby too). How much did this fiasco cost, both to nature and financially?
Excuse the pun but someone should be fired for this, if not charged with arson. After all, this was a deliberate and reckless act, committed without care or thought of the consequenses.
Well who's responsable then? The Echo report has quotes from people who should know better than to have let this happen, but not the name of the fire-starter. In future, if such radical burning back is so bloody good for the quality of the reed beds, why not hold the November 5th bonfire celebrations there instead of the beach (there's a nice big car park nearby too). How much did this fiasco cost, both to nature and financially? Excuse the pun but someone should be fired for this, if not charged with arson. After all, this was a deliberate and reckless act, committed without care or thought of the consequenses. portlandboy

4:46pm Wed 16 Sep 09

gobzilla;. says...

We also needed to ensure that motorists were still able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.”
.
Poppycock lad poppycock, since when were motorists able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.
We also needed to ensure that motorists were still able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.” . Poppycock lad poppycock, since when were motorists able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption. gobzilla;.

6:46pm Wed 16 Sep 09

anderton says...

gobzilla;. wrote:
We also needed to ensure that motorists were still able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.”
.
Poppycock lad poppycock, since when were motorists able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.
Calm down dear.
[quote][p][bold]gobzilla;.[/bold] wrote: We also needed to ensure that motorists were still able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption.” . Poppycock lad poppycock, since when were motorists able to get in and out of Weymouth without too much disruption. [/p][/quote]Calm down dear. anderton

7:34pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Genghis says...

Thankfully there was an adequate road that allowed the fire crews access to the fire. If the NIMBYs had had their way there would have been huge delays deploying the fire fighters. How much devastation would have been caused then?
Thankfully there was an adequate road that allowed the fire crews access to the fire. If the NIMBYs had had their way there would have been huge delays deploying the fire fighters. How much devastation would have been caused then? Genghis

8:22pm Wed 16 Sep 09

Polemicist says...

.
It's about time the whole area is in-filled and converted to a new road by-pass and lots of new houses.
.
The wildlife can all move to Littlemoor..
. It's about time the whole area is in-filled and converted to a new road by-pass and lots of new houses. . The wildlife can all move to Littlemoor.. Polemicist

10:56pm Wed 16 Sep 09

585 says...

Polemicist,
The wild life has already moved to Littlemoor.
Polemicist, The wild life has already moved to Littlemoor. 585

9:35pm Thu 17 Sep 09

anderton says...

585 wrote:
Polemicist,
The wild life has already moved to Littlemoor.
When did you move.
[quote][p][bold]585[/bold] wrote: Polemicist, The wild life has already moved to Littlemoor.[/p][/quote]When did you move. anderton

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