Huge blaze lights up sky for miles around as Dartmoor national park catches fire
- Firefighters on scene trying to battle a huge blaze on Dartmoor which witnesses have described as ‘biblical’
- Flames have filled night sky with bright orange glow which can be seen from as far as Plymouth and Cornwall
- The national park emergency officer estimates the fire is approximately 5km wide and continues to spread
Firefighters are trying to battle a large fire which has broken out on Dartmoor in Devon.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has said the blaze is near Tavy Cleave, a few miles north east of Tavistock.
The service has deployed five pumps and other units but has struggled to tackle the fire due to its location.
Pictures on social media showed a large stretching blaze which has illuminated the night sky and can be reportedly seen from as far as Plymouth and Cornwall.
Firefighters are on scene tackling a huge blaze which has lit up sky for miles around as Dartmoor national park catches fire
Witnesses described the scene as biblical as large clouds of smoke have filled the sky and the hills are backlit as silhouettes
The flames can be seen in the night sky from as far away as Plymouth and Cornwall as firefighters struggle to get to the scene
The fire is estimated to be about 3.1 miles of 5km wide and is continuing to spread according to the national park officer
Photographer Matt Gilley said the scene was ‘Biblical’.
He said: ‘The hills are like a silhouette from the smoke.’
A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue spokesman said : ‘Our crews are currently at Peter Tavy but we haven’t actually accessed the fire yet.’
The fire is thought to be on a remote stretch of the moorland and no residents or animals have been injured, according to reports.
It is not yet clear if the fire is controlled, with images on social media showing a large section of the moorland ablaze.
Rob Steemson, Dartmoor national Park emergency officer, told the BBC that he thinks the fire is around 5km wide and is continuing to spread.
Rob Steemson, Dartmoor national Park emergency officer, thinks the fire is around 5km wide and is continuing to spread
The fire is so big it can be seen as far away as Plymouth and Cornwall. The cause it not known at this stage
He added that the fire was being stoked by fierce south-westerly winds.
An eyewitness told Plymouth Live: ‘I’m sat on the top of the hill but fire appliances can’t get up to the fire because the roads are all frozen.
‘It looks like they will just have to let it burn out; there is nothing they can do.
‘I can see some little flames from where I am but it is mainly a big orange glow.’
In recent days there has been a spate of arson attacks on moorland in Devon and Cornwall.
On Wednesday, a suspected deliberate fire tore through approximately 50 acres of the Rosenannon Downs Nature Reserve near Wadebridge.
The cause of the Dartmoor fire is not known at this stage.
Some social media users have speculated it could have been a controlled burn that got out of hand while others have suggested no one would be carrying out controlled burns with the high winds which is helping spread the fire.
This is a breaking news story. We will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.
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