Salisbury Plain fire caused by British Army unit conducting pre deployment training Credit: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
The Salisbury Plain fire was caused by a British Army unit conducting pre-deployment training (Picture: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service).
Army

Salisbury Plain fires: MOD apologises for disturbance to locals

The fires started while a British Army unit was conducting pre-deployment training.

Salisbury Plain fire caused by British Army unit conducting pre deployment training Credit: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
The Salisbury Plain fire was caused by a British Army unit conducting pre-deployment training (Picture: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service).

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has apologised to locals as it continues to fight wildfires started on the British Army's Salisbury Plain training area in Wiltshire.

People have been advised to stay indoors and shut all windows, and are being pointed toward Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (D&WFRS) for further advice.

The fires were caused as an Army unit was conducting pre-deployment training and can't be contained normally due to the risk of unexploded ordnance on the Range Danger Area.

An MOD spokesperson said that "there are only three small fires remaining in the impact area and a reduced amount of smoke".

D&WFRS remain on site, dampening down where access is permitted, having made "significant" progress alongside defence personnel on Tuesday.

"In order to effectively drop water on the fire from an aircraft, helicopters would have to fly at less than 50m from the ground," the spokesperson added.

"However, this would put them and their crews at risk from unexploded ordnance, which can be activated by the heat.

"Therefore, unfortunately, helicopters are not an option directly over the impact area."

The spokesperson continued that water can be dropped "around the periphery of the impact area" which will be done into the evening.

"More water will be dropped tomorrow. This is unlikely to put the fire out but will assist in containment," they added.

MOD training has been paused and will only resume when the fires have burned out.