UPDATE: Firefighters quell farmland fire near A27
Firefighters have put out the fire which was tearing through farmland near the A27.
More than 1,500 people were evacuated from Druscillas Zoo Park this afternoon after the blaze raged through 50 hectares of straw and corn on land at Berwick Court Farm on Alfriston Road.
Police and the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to avoid the area as firefighters from across the county and neighbouring West Sussex tackled the fire.
A fire service spokesman said the fire was believed to be put out just before 6pm, with damping down of the field in progress. This is set to continue for ‘a considerable amount of time’, to ensure the field does not realight, the spokesman said.
As of 6.35pm, one Land Rover and four officers were at the scene. They will reinspect the area later to ensure there are no remaining hot spots.
Drusillas Zoo has issued the following statement: “Thank you all for your concern regarding the fire that broke out in the field opposite us this afternoon. We are happy to say we safely evacuated all visitors and no damage has occurred to the park. All of our animals are safe and well. The park will be open as usual tomorrow.”
This comes after long traffic queues built up on the A27. According to reports, traffic heading towards Eastbourne was queuing back to the Amex Stadium at Falmer.
Earlier this afternoon, a spokesperson at the fire service said the alarm was raised at 2.54pm, and six fire appliances were at the scene, with four Landrovers, one water bowser and a Support Command Unit.
People living nearby are also being urged to keep their windows and doors closed. Police are also urging drivers not to pull over to take photographs or videos.
Photo by Dan Jessup.
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