Wiltshire

Upset at Army's live firing on Salisbury Plain causing fires

Salisbury Plain live firing ranges
Image caption The fires began on 2 July and have continued to burn because of the dry and hot conditions

The Army is set to resume live firing on Salisbury Plain despite it causing fires which nearby villagers say are making their lives a misery.

The Ministry of Defence said it would leave the fires to burn out as there was no risk to life or property.

Mark Pollard, who lives nearby in Shrewton, said: "There were a few days where it was pretty acrid, the whole village was covered in smoke."

Fire services say they can only access fires at the edge of the firing range.

The first fire began on 2 July and now there are about three to four fires letting off plumes of black smoke.

In a tweet the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "For safety reasons, the fire on Salisbury Plain has been left to burn out.

"We have stopped firing at 12.00 today (Friday 6 July) and will resume firing on Monday morning (9 July)."

Another tweet explained that fires on Salisbury Plain were common and dry and hot conditions meant there were more fires than normal.

Image caption The training exercises are resuming on Monday, the MoD has said

The decision has caused anger from many residents in nearby villages like Shrewton and Durrington.

Some residents took to Twitter to complain about the smoke and smog, saying it was affecting their lungs and causing burning eyes.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has said there are three or four different fires and has described it as an "extremely complicated situation".

The fire service is only called in when the fires reach the edge of live firing zones.

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