Firefighters from across Cumbria have tackled a significant hillside blaze on the open fells near Keswick throughout the early hours after an emergency call came in at 12.18am this morning (Thursday 2 April).
The incident on the top of Newlands Pass, near Birkrigg Farm, Newlands, near Keswick, required crews from seven fire stations to attend with firefighters tackling an 800m-long fire front at its peak.
Fire crews from Keswick, Ambleside, Windermere, Appleby, Millom, Sedbergh and Whitehaven spent a number of hours tackling the wild fire incident.
The fire has now been brought under control and three fire crews currently remain at the scene damping down the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but the fire service believes it may have been started deliberately.
Nathaniel Hooton, Area Manager, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are disappointed to see what has happened overnight as it could possibly have been avoided.
“Wild fires spread quickly, threaten local wildlife and tackling the fire takes a large amount of the Fire Service’s time and resources. This is especially important at a time when we are supporting the national effort to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak and focusing our valuable resources on helping our partners and supporting Cumbria’s communities and vulnerable people.”
The road between Buttermere and Braithwaite is currently closed. The closure is on the Newlands Pass road at Buttermere village (the village is still accessible) and at the ‘Little Town’ junction near the top of the pass.
Anyone with any information about this incident can contact 101.
In line with Government guidance people are reminded not to make non-essential journeys, in order to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
For more information about fire safety outdoors, go to https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/cumbriafire/services/safetyathome/outdoorsafety.asp