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A blaze burnt a small portion of Winnie the Pooh's forest

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
A blaze burnt a small portion of Winnie the Pooh's forest
Copyright  Instagram/Ashdownforest

A fire at Ashdown forest in Sussex, England — famous for being the home of the honey-loving bear Winnie the Pooh in AA Milne's classic children stories — burnt up to 15 hectares in a valley area.

The blaze was reported to local authorities at 21:32 BST (19:32 CEST) on Sunday, said a statement by the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

"We received numerous calls at 9:30 last night from members of the public and the police regarding a fire in the Ashdown Forest. The fire took hold quickly and was significant with approximately 15 hectares alight in a valley area behind the back of Duddleswell," said Andrew Gausden from the fire service.

Firefighters left the scene at 10:00 BST (8:00 CEST) on Monday but crews will be going back to the scene to make sure it is fully out.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, said Gausden, adding units from the fire services, Sussex Police and the Ashdown Forest Rangers were working closely together to determine the cause of the fire.

AA Milne used Ashdown forest as inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh and his friends lived.

The forest was also used for deer hunting in Norman times and received national and international protection because of its wildlife.

A statement from the conservators of the forest said the fire hadn't caused any "long-term damage to the habitat or landscape" and that "only a small proportion of the forest had been affected."

They added that "unreasonably dry conditions" allowed the fire to spread.