Golf course fire destroys more than five acres of grass

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 07 August 2018

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

Archant

More than five acres of land was ravaged by a fire at a golf club on Sunday.

Damage to the course after the fire. Picture: David WhatleyDamage to the course after the fire. Picture: David Whatley

Six holes were damaged at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, in St Christophers Way, after crews were called to reports of a blaze at 4pm.

Playing areas on both the Championship and nine-hole Channel courses were not affected as only the rough areas were hit by the fire.

Both courses opened as normal on Monday.

The fire started near an area of vegetation close to a reservoir and its cause is not yet known.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

It took out all the rough ground between the seventh and 12th holes on the Championship course.

Karen Drake, managing secretary for the club, told the Mercury it was a very ‘distressing’ experience.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

She said: “It was quite an emotional and distressing thing to see, the speed at which the fire travelled was phenomenal.

“We evacuated everybody quickly and fortunately no-one was hurt but we think the deer and smaller animals who lived there probably did not escape.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

“It is lucky there were members on the course who called the fire service otherwise it could have been a lot worse.”

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received 15 calls about the large grass fire as a golf match between Somerset and Cornwall was taking place.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The course is a 27-hole members club which has hosted a number of high-profile amateur tournaments including the Brabazon Trophy and the English Amateur.

Last year, the club installed three new tee boxes, a refurbished professional shop and indoor teaching studio.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

A spokesman for the fire service said: “A crew from Burnham-on-Sea was mobilised at 3.56pm and requested the attendance of four further pumping appliances, a water carrier and a 4x4 vehicle.

“The crews confirmed there was a fire of approximately 1,000 metres rapidly spreading due to strong winds.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

“The crews used hose reels, jets and beaters in order to extinguish the fire but not before approximately 3,700sqm of grassland was set alight.

“Crews made good progress over a period of time, stopping the fire reaching the seafront which could have led to a further protracted incident.

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

“Once the fire was extinguished at 8pm crews continued to damp down any further hotspots before leaving the incident.”

Karen added: “The fire service was fantastic and I cannot thank them enough, they arrived very quickly and stabilised things.

Damage to the course after the fire. Picture: David WhatleyDamage to the course after the fire. Picture: David Whatley

“I must also thank our members who called it in too.”

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

The blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire StationThe blaze damaged six holes at the course. Picture: Burnham-on-Sea Fire Station

Damage to the course after the fire. Picture: David WhatleyDamage to the course after the fire. Picture: David Whatley

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