Tyne and Wear Fire Service release drone footage of wildfire near Newcastle Airport

  • Drone footage from the wildfire near Newcastle Airport

Emergency services have been tackling a large wildfire the size of five football pitches in Newcastle.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) said it had sent crews to the scene in Prestwick, near Newcastle Airport, where a fire broke out at about 1:20pm on Wednesday 14 June.

The service said 56 firefighters were on scene to bring the blaze under control.

Firefighters remained there throughout the night but were forced to scale back their efforts due to poor visibility. 

Efforts were also hindered by the location of the fire, which occurred in a densely wooded area that was hard to reach in a vehicle.

Tyne and Wear Fire Service has now released drone footage of the fire.

Area Manager Paul Russell, of TWFRS said: “This is a large wildfire very similar to what we saw last year during the prolonged period of warm weather in August.

"This is a difficult response due to the location of the fire, and the weather but our firefighters have been working tirelessly through the night to keep the fire under control. 

"Today we will be stepping up our efforts again to get this fire extinguished and preserve as much of the nature reserve as we can.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank our fire control staff, the firefighters and every member of support staff who assisted our response.

"We are really proud of how hard they are working and we hope that the public are reassured that our staff will be there through thick and thin to keep communities safe.

"As you may have seen overnight and this morning, the smoke is still lingering across the city and it has a strong smell of fire.

"We would ask that you keep your window and door closed if you live close by and if you are having breathing difficulties please call 111 or speak to your GP. 

"I also want to thank our partner agencies for the support they have shown and the public in the area who were disrupted by the incident and have been patient with us during our response."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson said: "At 1:20pm today we received a report of a large wildfire in the Prestwick area of Newcastle.

"This is a large fire covering an area of woodland and we have nearly 40 firefighters in attendance, including seven appliances and our aerial ladder platform (ALP).

"This is a rural area, and no properties in the immediate vicinity of the fire, but there is significant smoke so we would encourage people who live nearby to keep windows and doors closed. We would also ask the public to avoid the area if possible."

Emergency services are on the scene of a large wildfire near Newcastle airport. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Earlier this week, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) issued a warning about the risk of wildfire in the county.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: "The current spell of dry weather means we are very much at a heightened risk of wildfires.

“And while we want people to come and enjoy our beautiful county, we’re asking all residents and visitors to treat the countryside with respect.

“Our advice is simple - please do not light any fires whilst out and take a picnic rather than use campfires and BBQ's, which can be devastated by an easily preventable fire.

"We want you to enjoy the beauty of Northumberland, but we want you to do it safely." 

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