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A furze fire which threatened to engulf a hotel in Jersey on Monday evening was stopped by thousands of gallons of water dropped from a helicopter belonging to the multi-millionaire Barclay twins.

Sixty guests and 10 staff at the Bonne Nuit Chalet hotel were evacuated as the blaze, covering an area the size of 15 football pitches, swept towards them. The six-seater Augusta helicopter, which is based on Brecqhou, the tiny Channel island where the reclusive brothers have built a Gothic- style castle, dropped dozens of water bombs on the fire for three-and- a-half hours, directed by firemen on the headland below.

The Barclay twins have just moved into their new castle, with their families. Understood to be worth in the region of pounds 650m, they make no charge for the use of the helicopter and have told the Jersey and Guernsey authorities that they can call on it at any time for emergency use. Philip Jeune