Flames up to 40ft high rip through Hednesford Hills
Flames up to 40ft high have devastated acres of a Staffordshire beauty spot.
More than 40 firefighters spent hours tackling the grassland blaze over 12 acres of Hednesford Hills, as plumes of smoke could be seen billowing over the district.
Cannock Police has urged people to stay away from the area and Reservoir Road has been closed – with access to the July Jamboree event at the nearby raceway blocked.
Flames were sent high into the sky and even reached the canopies of trees, while large areas of gorse and heather were destroyed.
Seven fire engines and a specialist water carrier from stations across the county were called to the incident, which began at about 1pm.
Crews travelled from as far as Kinver and Tamworth to support local firefighters – expecting to remain at the scene throughout the night.
Incident commander Derek Stoddart urged people who visit Hednesford Hills and other visitor spots across Staffordshire to be vigilant as the temperature gets set to soar once again.
He said: “The message I would like to get across is that while our seven appliances are dealing with the fire here, we are not providing fire cover elsewhere across the county.
“I would very much urge the people of Staffordshire and visitors to Cannock Chase or similar areas to be extremely vigilant and take great care with how they dispose of cigarettes and I advise against the use of disposal BBQs.
“The safe effective and assertive firefighting of the crews in attendance prevented the fire spreading to the nearby events being held at the raceway.
“The flames got into the canopies of the trees and the fire involved the tops of them – some of which were very mature.”
Firefighters were tackling the blaze from both sides of Hednesford Hills at Reservoir Road and Valley Road, next to the Museum of Cannock Chase. Crews from Cannock, Rugeley, Penkridge, Tamworth, Lichfield, Kinver and Uttoxeter Fire Stations were sent to extinguish the blaze. It is not yet known how the fire started.
The incident comes just weeks after another large blaze lit up the skyline over Hednesford Hills.
Crews spent four hours tackling the grassland fire off Reservoir Road and Rawnsley Road on July 5. Smoke could again be seen billowing over the Cannock Chase district in the early hours of
The fire, which started at about 3.35am, involved 50 metres by 80 metres of gorse and heather.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, youths armed with fireworks were believed to have started a series of fires across the Chase. Three crews spent more than two hours at Marquis Drive working to quell the flames and stop the fires spreading across the beauty spot. Staffordshire County Council is applying a ‘no barbecue’ request at all its countryside parks and estates, including Cannock Chase, in an attempt to protect the county’s countryside.