Huge fire tackled by 80 firefighters

These were the dramatic scenes as flames engulfed a mile square area of a Midland beauty spot creating clouds of smoke which could be seen for miles.

About 80 firefighters were involved at the height of the blaze on Cannock Chase which started at Ansons Bank, off Camp Road, near Brocton.

A police helicopter was called in to help establish the area affected by the fire which spread quickly in the tinder-dry conditions following the recent dry spell.

A strong wind added to the difficulties in controlling the fire which broke out at about 2pm yesterday and spread along the Sherbrook Valley.

It happened as firefighters in another part of the region reported one of their busiest nights of the year so far, attending almost 60 small grass and bush fires in just four hours.

Between 6pm and 10pm yesterday, West Midlands Fire Service received 57 calls about small fires – including 18 from Dudley borough alone.

Attacks were concentrated on open grass and woodland areas in Dudley, Stourbridge, Brierley Hill and Halesowen

Watch commander at Dudley, Terry Smith, blamed many of the fires on the dry weather and bored children up to mischief during light nights.

A blaze also ripped through four acres of Hartlebury Common at 4.30pm.


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