A blaze started by a discarded barbecue has destroyed 190 hectares of protected woodland and killed wildlife.
More than 150 firefighters raced to Wareham Forest, Dorset, yesterday after strong winds reignited the blaze, started by daytrippers on Monday.
A helicopter from Wales was called in to 'water bomb' the wildfire as firefighters battled to keep it under the control.
Firefighters have been damping down hot spots at the site all week but on Friday they were back to the same numbers as at the fire's peak as they tried to bring several flare ups under control.
Smoke was seen travelling for miles - as far as Bournemouth, Poole, Ferndown and Wimborne - and volunteers trying to rescue any animals that survived had to abandon their search.
A Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "We have over 150 firefighters back on scene today trying to keep on top of the hotspots and flare ups that are being caused by the high winds in the area fanning the fire."
Fire investigators found the remains of two disposable barbecues amid the blackened landscape and said the discarded items are most likely to have accidentally ignited the tinder-dry forest and heathland, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the most important in the UK for rare reptiles.
Rescue efforts had only been on a small scale due to the ongoing nature of the fire but they ground to a halt on Friday afternoon when the strong winds caused the fire to reignite.
About 100 reptiles have been found but the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) said there was very little reptile activity on site.
A spokesman for ARC said: "Overall there was very little reptile activity. Reptiles generally can't escape fire, they try to outrun it or go underground but most of them would asphyxiate.
"There are all six species of British reptile at Wareham Forest as well as all the protected species of bird.
"This is definitely going to have a hugely devastating impact for wildlife, it couldn't be any worse really.
"We believe that is the biggest fire in Dorset for 30 years."
The search was abandoned on Friday and cancelled for today because of the high winds with the team on standby to assess if they can get back on site from Sunday.
Forestry England, which manages Wareham Forest, said it could take another 30 years for the habitat to recover.
Ranger Mark Warner said: "A lot of the animals survived and were able to get deep down into the vegetation and avoid the fire.
"But they are now coming up onto a completely black moonscape and they will get picked off rapidly by predators so it's vital we get in there and are able to move those animals.
"Wareham Forest is probably one of the most important sites in the UK for rare British reptiles.
"It will recover but it's a long time coming. To get back to the position we were in before the fire we're talking about 30 years realistically.
"But we will see improvements within a year. With only part of the habitat taken out, we have lost animals but we have the ability for other animals to move into the area."
Both Forestry England and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have warned the public to stay away from Wareham Forest, as it is still the scene of a major incident.
There has also been an amber wildfire alert - meaning there is an increased risk of wildfires with the dry winds, low humidity and dry heathland vegetation - issued for the bank holiday weekend.
And an online petition has since been started calling for a ban of disposable barbecues in the county, which has lots of important heathland.