Boomtown Fair Fire: Car park blaze 'caused by cigarette'

image copyrightHampshire Fire and Rescue Service
image captionEighty two vehicles were destroyed when the fire took hold on Friday afternoon

A discarded cigarette was the likely cause of a fire which destroyed more than 80 cars at a music festival, investigators have found.

The blaze broke out in a car park at the Boomtown Fair Festival on Friday afternoon.

Fire scene investigators believe a lit cigarette sparked the huge fire when it ignited grass stubble around the parked vehicles.

More than 50,000 people attended the four-day event.

Organisers, who said they would begin moving the burnt-out wreckage off the site on Tuesday, are assisting those affected.

Spokeswoman Anna Wade said the main concern was that "anyone affected is safely and swiftly able to get home".

She said festivalgoers had been helped to identify their cars and assist, make travel arrangements and contact insurers during the weekend.

image captionThe wreckage is due to be moved off the site on Tuesday

Eighty-two cars were destroyed when fire took hold in the West Car Park near the festival site in Winchester, Hampshire, after 16:00 BST on Friday.

The fire was tackled by festival safety staff before fire fighters from Hampshire Fire and Rescue arrived.

Steve Foye of Hampshire Fire and Rescue said it had been a "significant fire which developed very rapidly" in the stubble field.

"The crews responded very fast in preventing the fire spreading to the campsite area and stop it spreading to the large number of other cars in the car park.

"At this time of year the ground is much drier - we need people to think about how they behave and don't drop cigarettes."

A campsite was evacuated as a precaution. No-one was injured.

media captionA large fire at a music festival car park has caused a huge plume of smoke over the site.

Supt James Fulton of Hampshire Police said: "The fire on Friday was well handled with great assistance from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and plenty of support on site from the festival organisers for those affected."

Police also warned of traffic disruption on the A34 and A272 as traffic leaves the festival site.

image copyrightAdam Coppin
image captionThe smoke could be seen for miles around

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