Berrow fire lights up skies around Burnham-On-Sea
September 1, 2004
A dramatic fire in Berrow’s dunes lit up the skies around Burnham-On-Sea on Wednesday night (September 1st).
The fire broke out at around 8pm and quickly spread across the marshy dunes and reed beds to the west of Berrow Church.
Eyewitnesses at the scene saw flames up to five metres high, as shown in these photos. An area half a mile long and 500 metres wide was destroyed.
The fire appeared to be active in at least four areas and was being fanned by a brisk Westerly wind coming off the Bristol Channel.
Eight fire engines from Burnham-On-Sea, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Cheddar were called to the incident and several firefighters with hoses and beaters tried to bring the blaze under control. A water carrier from Bridgwater and a command support unit from Street were also drafted in to help, along with a police helicopter.
None of the fire engines and other rescue vehicles was allowed onto the beach due to the high tide which peaked at around 10.00pm and reached the edge of Berrow’s sand dunes.
Earlier, the Brean Down beach warden had evacuated the beach around the incident area and advised onlookers to move away given the high tide and dangerous nature of the fire.
The incident was visible from several miles away in Burnham-On-Sea, as shown in our photograph above, with thick black smoke rising into the skies above Berrow.
A spokesman for Somerset Fire and Rescue confirmed on Thursday that the cause of the fire was believed to be deliberate and that arsonists were probably to blame.