Smoke rises as fire takes hold on The Wrekin

A fire burning on top of the Wrekin is now under control but is expected to take all evening to fully extinguish.

Smoke rose high above the landmark Shropshire hill this afternoon after the fire started in soaring temperatures and gusting winds.

The blaze is now under control but winds of up to 20mph are regularly changing direction and making the challenge harder for firefighters.

Flames on top of the Wrekin. Photo: Louis Wright

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze is deep under the surface and warned people to stay away for the rest of the evening while it is completely extinguished.

At least four fire crews have been dealing with the fire on top of the peak which broke out at around 2.20pm.

Flames ripped through around 376 sq m of tinder-dry undergrowth as temperatures hit 23C (73F) in the area.

WATCH: Drone footage shows blaze

Drone footage shows Wrekin fire

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Shropshire Fire and Rescue head of operations and risk Shaun Baker said people were asked to leave to prevent anyone from being trapped.

"We have got a fire right at the top on the north side. Fire is in the undergrowth involving heather, fern and bracken and dry grass.

"We have got 20mph gusting winds which are pushing the fire along," Mr Baker said.

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A paraglider could be seen as the fire burned

One of the fire crews was spotted driving onto the hillside to begin tackling the blaze as smoke swirled.

The fire service reminded people of the importance of not having barbecues on grassland and encouraged the public to make sure cigarettes are properly extinguished.

MP Mark Pritchard praised the swift response of firefighters to the blaze.

He tweeted: "Thank you to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and local police for responding so quickly to this incident and tackling this very serious fire."

A Telford Central crew has also tackled a large garden blaze at premises in Linden Terrace, Overdale, Telford, after being called there shortly before 2.55pm.

In Shrewsbury crews fought a hedgerow blaze on land off Lyth Hill Road, in Bayston Hill at about 11.10am.

They also fought an unattended camp fire incident, in Painsbrook Lane, in Hadnall, Shrewsbury, at 11am.

This is a developing story. Please refresh for the latest.

Source: Shropshire Star | Date: 29 May 2020

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