MoD stop live firing exercise after setting fire to Salisbury Plain 

The Ministry of Defence have announced an end to live firing on Salisbury Plain after their training activities set the field alight, causing roads to be closed and nearby houses to fill with smoke. 

The training exercises, which use high-explosive ammunition, were paused on Friday but resumed earlier this week to the dismay of local residents. 

But after Wiltshire Police were forced to temporarily close the A360 between Shrewton and West Lavington due to bad visibility the MoD announced on Thursday afternoon that they would cease artillery live firing. 

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation, part of the MoD, announced the decision on Twitter, stating: “We have reviewed the risks of continuing live firing on Salisbury Plain training area and have made the decision to cease artillery live firing on the Salisbury Plain training area until further notice.”

Since the fires started last week the smoke has spread to over 40 miles away in Wells, Somerset.

The smoke could be smelt 40 miles away 

The smoke could be smelt 40 miles away 

Credit:
Neil Lockhart

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said the military was monitoring the smoke plume caused by the fire.

It tweeted: “A fire in the impact area of Salisbury Plain that is being monitored by the Military seems to be giving off a smoke plume that is spreading across Steeple Ashton, Trowbridge and as far as Bradford on Avon. Control are receiving multiple calls.”

The MoD have confirmed that the fires have now gone out, but local residents are still battling the smell of smoke in their homes. 

Neil Lockhard, 60, who lives in Great Cheverell said: “This has caused a lot of discomfort to locals, keeping doors and windows closed in this heat has been terrible, and the house smells so strongly of smoke. 

The MoD have confirmed that the fires have now gone out

The MoD have confirmed that the fires have now gone out

“I have asthma too and this has just been not good. The MoD haven’t communicated with residents as well as they should have.

“The whole problem is all avoidable and their actions have been irresponsible in this hot weather.”

Avon Fire and Rescue said it had received a large number of calls from Bath about the smoke and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said the smoke plume had spread as far as Frome, Shepton Mallet and Wells.

This article originally appeared here via Google News