Forest has gone up in flames on the hottest February day on record

Wildfires have torn through a forest best known as the setting of A. A. Milne’s children’s classic Winnie the Pooh.

Two separate blazes started within an hour of each other in Ashdown Forest in east Sussex today (Tues), on the hottest February day on record.

Dramatic pictures show smoke billowing from the forest known as Hundred Acre Wood in the book.

Eddie Howland, SWNS

Firefighters said more than 35 hectares of woodland had been affected, with both fires spreading.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said “unusual warm weather this week” meant the ground was drier than usual, and could lead to a greater risk of outdoor fires.

Eddie Howland, SWNS

At least 65 firefighters were at both sites, it added.

Eddie Howland, SWNS

Seven fire crews including specialist Land Rovers rushed to Nutley after the first wildfire was reported 12.31pm.

Another four crews were dispatched after another blaze then broke out less than two miles away at 1.37pm.

Eddie Howland, SWNS

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the second fire saw flames engulfing 200 metres of gorse and undergrowth.

Members of the public were warned to stay away as firefighters battled the fire with hose reels.

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