A TEST Valley man has spoken of the shocking moment part of his fence went up in flames at the weekend.

Craig Fletcher and his wife Pippa, who live in Crawley Hill, West Wellow, discovered the blaze on Saturday morning after embers from a nearby blaze drifted over to their fence.

Now the 41-year-old is urging people not to start barbecues in the New Forest after his heavily pregnant wife had to help him stop the fence fire from spreading to their home.

Craig said: "It was not the quiet Saturday morning I was hoping to have; we were just coming downstairs and noticed there was smoke outside.

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"We then had phone calls from neighbours saying 'your fence is on fire', so I ran out there and the first thing I did was call 999.

"It was the first time I had to call for a fire and my wife, who is 38 weeks pregnant, came up behind me with a hose trying to put it out.

"The hose did not even make a dent in the fire so we ran back into the house to get a CO2 extinguisher and that did not even touch it."

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The video games investor added: "It did shock me because we could not get too close to this fire and I was worried about the tree above the fence coming down and going onto the A36, as we live right next to that road.

"When it was clear we could not do anything more to put it out we put water on the ground to stop it spreading as much as we could before two fire engines arrived.

"The firefighters put it out within 20 minutes, so it could have been a lot worse and luckily no one was injured, but it could cost £2,000 to replace the four fence panels."

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Craig stressed people should "not have barbecues in the New Forest" after it was revealed England had its driest May on record, according to the Met Office.

He added because the weather has been "so dry" it does not take long for a small fire to "become huge".

A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: "Crews from Eastleigh and Romsey were mobilised at 09:58 on Saturday to Crawley Hill in West Wellow.

"There was a fire in a field covering approximately half an acre of grassland and hedgerow.

"There was also a further small fire involving 10m of fencing which was caused by embers from the previous fire.

"The stop message came in at 11:06."

The story was sourced from Facebook's Romsey News and Information Group.