A.A. Milne was inspired to write his Winnie the Pooh books in the 1920s while living near the Ashdown Forest

By Dave Quinn
April 29, 2019 10:10 AM
Hugh Clark/REX/Shutterstock

Firefighters in East Sussex, England, worked on Sunday night and Monday morning to put out a fire that broke out in the Ashdown Forest — the woods that inspired author A.A. Milne’s fictional Hundred Acre Wood in his beloved Winnie the Pooh series.

According to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, reports of the fire first came in from members of the public and police around 9:30 p.m. local time on Sunday night.

Crews from Crowborough, Mayfield, Heathfield, Uckfield, Forest Row, Lewes and Seaford worked together to put out the fire, using Land Rovers and all-terrain vehicles to access the area affected by the blaze. Ashdown Forest Rangers and Sussex Police helped too, using a drone to help survey the fire ground.

“The fire took hold quickly and was significant,” said Incident Commander Andrew Gausden. “[There was] approximately 15 hectares [50 acres] alight in a valley area behind the back of Duddleswell.”

The East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said that by 10 a.m. local time on Monday, crews were able to leave the scene. They’re expected to return later for re-inspection.

Gausden said that the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service would be working closely with Sussex Police and the Ashdown Forest Rangers to investigate the cause of the fire, which is currently unknown. “We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time,” he said. “Investigations will take place over the next few days.”

Hugh Clark/REX/Shutterstock
Hugh Clark/REX/Shutterstock

Milne was inspired to write his Winnie the Pooh books in the 1920s while living in Hartfield, near the Ashdown Forest, the BBC reported.

Much of that was seen in the 2017 biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin, which followed Milne as he made up stories about Pooh for his son Christopher Robin during their trips together in the woods.