There’s a very excessive and continuing danger to wildfire on Surrey’s heathlands, as crews stay on the scene of a big blaze on Chobham Common, a wildlife trust has warned.
Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) says the massive wildfire started on Sunningdale Golf Course. Because of sturdy winds it spread to Chobham Common. It destroyed 74 acres of rare and treasured lowland heathland and wildlife habitat on the common.
The trust has praised firebreaks, put in by SWT and the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and where vegetation is carefully managed. They helped to compress the fire and shield the remaining 500 hectares of the Common.
The trust says that Chobham Common is a fraction of previously extensive lowland heathland which is rarer than tropical rainforest. It is dwelling to specialist reptiles, protected ground nesting birds and 1000’s of species of insects that are declining.
There are 22 kinds of dragonfly which hover and dart above the heathland pools. 100 different bird species have recorded, together with the ground nesting Nightjar. Nightjar migrates 4,000 miles yearly from sub-Saharan Africa to breed on Chobham Common, based on SWT.
There are additionally 300 species of wildflowers, a number of species of native orchids and the wetlands’ insect-eating Sundews and rare Marsh gentians.
Chobham Common can be among the finest British sites for insects, ladybirds, bees, spiders, wasps and 25 species of mammal.
‘A hazard to human life’
James Adler, director of biodiversity at SWT, mentioned: “All Surrey heathland sites are extremely susceptible to heath fires right now.
“We’re very concerned that climate change is resulting in a rise in the frequency of wildfires. Which is dangerous to human life, individuals’s homes and wildlife.”
“Wildfires are unpredictable, harmful and significantly damaging to valuable habitat, which has taken years of administration to get into optimum condition for reptiles, like, Adders and Sand lizards, in addition to Woodlarks and Dartford warblers and 1000’s of invertebrate species.
“When these habitats are in danger wildfire. It might take several years to turn the region suitable for them once again.”
“If a fire is very huge it may wipe out complete populations of species and, because of fragmentation of habitats, it is probably not possible for recolonization to happen.”
Moreover, the trust has suggested individuals to continue to comply with fire service advice, as fire crews look set to remain on the common for the rest of the week.
‘The fire does remain active in remote areas’
Assistant chief fire officer, Kasey Beal, mentioned: “As of the afternoon of Monday, August 10. The fire remains at roughly 500 acres and is under control.”
“Nonetheless, the fire does remain active in remote areas, particularly alongside the roadways inside the Common and in pockets, well inside containment lines.
” Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is being assisted by neighboring agencies throughout this declared major incident as we proceed into our fourth day.”
“Excessive temperatures and the potential for thunderstorms are driving the necessity for our crews to keep up a presence both day and night time for the rest of the week.”
“Fortunately all evacuation orders have been lifted as of 4pm yesterday (August 9). But, the higher common region stays closed north of the M3.”
“Please stay vigilant as hot climate continues to rise the danger of fire from any open flames. Discarded smoking materials and hot automobiles parked on the top of vegetation.
“We wish to sincerely thank our crews, our mutual aid agencies and volunteer organizations which were offering ongoing help.”
Monument and Roundabout automobile parks are both remain closed, whereas Longcross automobile park is open. The wildlife trust has called for no campfires, barbeques, cigarettes or litter on heathlands at any time.
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