Diary - high winds re-ignite heath fire

Another sunny, but windy day, the latter creating a nightmare for firefighters tackling the fire on Bloxworth Heath, near Bere Regis. First thing, though, was the regular weekly catch-up with Dorset Council and my parliamentary colleagues. Much attention was on concerns from residents of places like Lulworth, which have been inundated with visitors. There are stories of people relieving themselves in gardens and litter abounds, apparently. With Government guidance that people can now travel anywhere for the day, the police are powerless to stop an invasion, made worse by the fact that nothing is open. That needs to change, in my view, and fast. In the morning, I dealt with several constituency matters, not least calls for help from businesses and charities that have fallen through the Government's safety net in one way or another. I also wrote to the senior officers I'd met at the scene of the fire, thanking them and their firefighters for a remarkable job, that was until I heard at about 1600 that the fire had started up again. I immediately called Jim Mahoney to get the latest, to be told the strong wind had re-ignited part of the heathland and was pushing the fire west to Morden Park. Having been reassured that the two tenants in the park were known about and accounted for, I set off back to the ICP on the road to Wareham. I stopped  on the garage on the way down and bought out the stock of Mars Bars, which I then dished out to every firefighter I met as I walked to the ICP. There, I met the senior officer present,  Darren Langdown, who briefed me on the deteriorating situation. A helicopter with a 700 litre scoop was proving effective, allowing firefighters to follow in afterwards with hoses. The fire had reached Morden Park and I was asked to give permission for a short firebreak to be made on my land. I of course said yes. After 20 minutes or so there was not much more I could do so, leaving my telephone number with Darren, headed home. On the way I stopped to thank a contingent from Wales. They were specialists in creating fire to stop a fire. A high-risk technique, which they were clearly qualified to do. As the evening drew on, I spoke to Fire Chief Ben Ansell who said they appeared to have the fire under control, but the high winds were not helping and nothing was guaranteed. Nationally, the Government's scientific advisers had released their advice which underpins controversial plans for primary schools in England to reopen for some pupils on 1 June, saying the risk of a rise in infections is "very, very small, but isn't zero". Meanwhile, anyone arriving in the UK from abroad could face a £1,000 fine if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days. I am not sure this policy makes much sense and why impose it now? Surely, something can be done at the airport. With airlines and other associated travel businesses in serious financial trouble, this policy is needed like a hole in the head. And, talking of finances, it emerged that the Government borrowed more than £62 billion in April - the highest monthly figure on record. We must get the country back to work. The day ended with news that the Prime Minister's chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, travelled out of London during the lockdown whilst suffering with coronavirus symptoms. I can see political fireworks ahead.