Drusillas Zoo fire – 1,500 people evacuated in Sussex and drivers urged to avoid A27 amid huge 50-acre crop blaze

Drivers have been urged to avoid the A27 in the Alfriston area of East Sussex, after 58 acres of barley, wheat and straw set alight amid the heatwave.

About 1,500 people were rushed from Drusilla's Zoo and animals were shut away as the flames approached.

Footage taken this afternoon captured a line of fire creeping towards the zoo.

A statement on the East Sussex Fire and Rescue service says: "East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are asking people to avoid the A27, Alfriston Road, due to a field fire at Berwick Court Farm, near the Drusilla's roundabout.

"Currently six fire appliances are at the scene, with four Landrovers, one Water Bowser and a Support Command Unit. The initial call came in at 14.54."

Staff at the zoo are said to be giving water to fire crews, and the animals are currently safe and well.

Sun Online has attempted to contact Drusilla's Zoo and the fire service for further comment.

Farmer Paul Lewis, from Berwick Court Farm, told the BBC he had lost 20 acres of crops and a £60,000 tractor to the flames.

Drivers have been told to take care due to the smoke in the area, and residents living nearby have been instructed to keep their doors and windows closed.

More to follow…

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