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'Winnie the Pooh' Forest Catches Fire

Arson not suspected in Ashdown Forest blaze
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2019 2:52 AM CDT
A forest ranger drives over the burned landscape, the scene of a fire at Ashdown Forest, southern England, Monday April 29, 2019.   (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
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(Newser) – The forest that inspired Hundred Acre Wood in the Winnie Pooh stories is a lot bigger than 100 acres—even after a fire scorched around 50 acres of it. Six fire crews battled a fire late Sunday and early Monday in Ashdown Forest in southern England, CNN reports. East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman says it is unusual to have such a large fire at night, though it did not appear to have been started deliberately. "The undergrowth was very dry in the forest, despite the recent rain, and the fire caught quite quickly," he says. Heathland makes up more than half of the forest's 6,500 acres.

Author AA Milne was living nearby when he created the Winnie the Pooh stories. If there had been any bears, tigers, piglets, or kangaroos in the area, they would have been able to flee easily enough, though forest rangers say ground-nesting birds would have had their nests destroyed. "Reptiles like adders and lizards would not have been able to move fast enough. Large animals like foxes and deer would have been able to move out of the area quite quickly," forest ranger Chris Sutton tells the BBC. "All is not lost," he says. "Within four weeks we'll have grass growing and in six months you probably won't know too much has gone on here." (Read more Winnie the Pooh stories.)

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