LONDON - British firefighters battled a blaze that broke out overnight Sunday in the forest that inspired the setting of the beloved “Winnie-the-Pooh” children's books.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said its crew was called Sunday evening to a blaze in southern England’s Ashdown Forest, inspiration for the “Hundred Acre Wood” in A.A. Milne’s children’s stories.
According to a tweet from Ashdown Forest officials, the blaze affected approximately 15 hectares (37 acres). Six fire engines were used to combat the blaze.
Thanks to @EastSussexFRS, @WestSussexFire and @kentfirerescue for their response to the fire on Ashdown Forest last night. It started around 9:30pm on Sunday evening and was out by 4am this morning. An area of approximately 15 hectares has been affected. #ashdownforest— AshdownForest Centre (@Ashdown_Forest) April 29, 2019
Fire service spokesman Andrew Gausden told the BBC that the fire, which spread quickly through dry undergrowth, did not appear to have been started deliberately.
“Winnie-the-Pooh” author A.A. Milne lived in nearby Cotchford Farm, and based the wooded setting of his beloved children’s books on Ashdown Forest.
Two fires broke out earlier in February affecting 35 hectares (86 acres), of the forest.
In the wake of the blaze, the West Sussex Fire & Rescue's Twitter account sent out a message urging people to help prevent future fires by avoiding open fires and extinguishing cigarettes.
Timely reminder: Following the #Ashdownforest fire @EastSussexFRS please help us prevent and educate by sharing:— West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (@WestSussexFire) April 29, 2019
🏞️Avoid open fires
🔥Caution if lighting BBQ's & bonfires
🚒Call 999 if you see an outdoor fire#workingtogether #wildfires #wildfireseason
This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this story.