A shocking photo taken from a police helicopter shows the huge extent of the damage done by a major fire in Sussex yesterday (Wednesday).
More than 1,500 people had to be evacuated from Drusillas Zoo and smoke was seen pouring into the sky for miles after the blaze broke out in fields off the A27 in Alfriston at around 3pm.
It consumed 50 hectares of straw and corn on land at Berwick Court Farm on Alfriston Road, but luckily no one was hurt.
Firefighters from across the county tackled the flames and it was eventually put out just before 6pm that evening.
The police helicopter from Redhill was on scene to assist and NPAS (National Police Air Service) said on Twitter, “Photo showing the extent of the fire that East Sussex crews had to deal with earlier today. Did a great job in sweltering heat!”
As of 6.35pm, one Land Rover and four officers were at the scene. They reinspected the area later to ensure there were no remaining hot spots.
Drusillas Zoo issued the following statement, “Thank you all for your concern regarding the fire that broke out in the field opposite us this afternoon.
“We are happy to say we safely evacuated all visitors and no damage has occurred to the park. All of our animals are safe and well.
“The park will be open as usual [on Thursday].”
Long traffic queues built up on the A27 for some time. According to reports, traffic heading towards Eastbourne was queuing back to the Amex Stadium at Falmer.
Video by Dan Jessup