Two caravans were destroyed after a mystery fire at a traveller site.
The vehicles, which were parked up by the side of Devil’s Dyke Road, went up in flames in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Two engines from Hove Fire Station were called to tackle the blaze but the caravans were completely destroyed.
Nobody was thought to be hurt.
When The Argus visited the illegal camp at 9am yesterday (February 24), the wreckage was still smouldering.
Just the frame of the vehicles were left along with the metal sink units, cooker and grill.
The majority of the 20-odd caravans appeared to be abandoned with rubbish strewn around the nearby land.
One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “We were woken up in the early hours by the fire engines.
“I don’t know how it started and I don’t think anyone was hurt.”
She added: “A lot of people have moved away because it is so cold up here at the moment.”
Many residents, rather than belonging to traveller families, claim to have lived in the surrounding towns and cities and fallen on hard times.
Their four-month stay near the popular beauty spot has cost Brighton and Hove City Council some £20,000.
The authority last week served them an eviction order which they have appealed citing that they need more time to leave the land.
An East Sussex Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “Two appliances attended from Hove at 3.12am.
“It is thought to have been started accidently but we are unsure as to what exactly happened.
“Nobody was injured.”
Some members of the current encampment are said to be part of a group which was evicted from land bordering Devil’s Dyke Road in May 2012.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Two motorcyclists killed in crash with Range Rover
- Tour of Britain organisers promise the race will return to Sussex
- Bin lorry drivers' industrial action could last months
- Teenager spared jail for role in "road race" deaths
- Head must quit school he saved because he's not Roman Catholic