SALT LAKE CITY — Local officials are trying to determine what happened after an overnight fire raged through Ashdown Forest in East Sussex Sunday night. The woods inspired A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood in the “Winnie the Pooh” stories.
The fire, which started around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, affected up to 50 acres in the Kingstanding area, according to the BBC.
Six fire crews were on scene at the height of the fire Sunday night and brought it under control by 4 a.m. Monday, according to CNN.
Officials say the fire is not thought to have been started deliberately.
"It's unusual to have a fire of this size at night. This seems to have caught hold before people noticed the fire," Andrew Gausden of the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service told the BBC.
"The undergrowth was very dry in the forest, despite the recent rain, and the fire caught quite quickly.”
Milne, who lived near Ashdown Forest on Cotchford Farm, Hatfield, used the woods as inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood in his “Winnie the Pooh” stories, according to CNN.
Pooh and his friends Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and more call the Wood home in the stories. Now rangers are assessing the extent of the damage done to the real-life woods.Comment on this story
"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," Sutton said, according to BBC.
Sutton said animals and insects in the area will quickly repopulate the Ashdown area hit by the fire.
"All is not lost,” Sutton said. “Within four weeks we'll have grass growing and in six months you probably won't know too much has gone on here."
It isn’t the first time the woods have been hit by wildfires. Two were accidentally started by volunteers in February, according to CNN.