A fundraising page has been set up to thank all the firefighters who battled the recent blaze at Ringwood Forest near Verwood.

The Verwood community were keen to do something to show their appreciation and resident Jan Masey set up a GoFundMe page in aid of The Firefighters Charity.

The fundraising campaign was set up after discussions between residents over Facebook.

“It just developed from a Facebook post of people not knowing what they could do to help,” said Jan.

Firefighters from Hampshire and Dorset and Wiltshire fire services were called to the incident last week.

The fire, involving a large area of trees and scrubland, was reported to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) at around 5.30pm on Monday, August 10.

At the height of the incident, HFRS says there were 110 firefighters at the scene. HFRS was working alongside Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to tackle the blaze.

Specialist vehicles and appliances from Ringwood, Lyndhurst, Fordingbridge, Burley and Totton fire stations were used.

The stop message for fire crews came in on Thursday morning at around 10.50am and the incident was left in the hands of Forestry England.

However, over the weekend fire crews were called back to Ringwood Forest to deal with hotspots.

Jan said: “The heat was intense last week and we all felt so sorry. The fire was going at quite a rate at one point and they were there in that intense heat trying to control it for us.”

During the incident, Jan says firefighters had donations of ice lollies from an ice cream van and sandwiches from Morrisons but residents were keen to do something.

The Firefighters Charity provides support for mental, physical and social needs for serving and retired firefighters.

Jan said: “It is the one thing we could do. We were a bit lost as to what else we could do for them. To raise some money for their charity seemed like a good way to do it.”

The GoFundMe page says: “Verwood residents are extremely grateful to the firefighters, who spent 3 of the hottest days this year controlling a fire and keeping them safe. Some have expressed a wish to help the firefighters in some way to thank them. Donating to The Firefighters Charity is a way of giving them some support.”

To donate, click here.

This story first appeared in the Salisbury Journal.

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