A blaze at a coastal beauty spot is thought to have spread through "tinder dry" gorse bushes after a campfire was not put out properly.

Orange watch from Penzance Fire Station, along with on-call crews from Penzance and St Just, attended a large fire on moorland near Lamorna Cove on Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Penzance crew has now said: "The fire took around four to five hours to bring under control and if it wasn’t for the favourable winds would have been a lot worse.

"It would seem the fire spread from an abandoned campfire near the cliffs.

"This campfire was lit within five feet of tinder dry gorse bushes and whoever left it did a very poor job of ensuring it was extinguished."

Falmouth Packet:

The destruction left by the fire. Photo: Penzance Fire Station

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is still advising people to avoid lighting bonfires and campfires during the pandemic, due to the extra strain on emergency services.

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Their general advice on campfires is:

  • Choose a clear area, away from trees and bushes and ensure there are no overhanging branches.
  • Always choose somewhere with a natural windbreak as wind will push embers beyond the campfires confines and cause it to spread.
  • Always ensure that your fire is extinguished completely before leaving it.
  • The flames may have stopped burning but the fuel (wood, coal, briquettes etc) underneath could still be very hot.
  • Pour copious amounts of water over the remains of the fire, once it has died down, and stir round some earth with the ashes until it is completely out.

Falmouth Packet:

The fire is thought to have spread from an abandoned camp. Photo: Penzance Fire Station

The Penzance Fire Station spokesperson added: "Careless campers, as in this case, are often the cause of wild fires so it is extremely important to ensure you keep your campfire under control and always extinguish it completely."