Investigation into ‘challenging’ wildfire near A590

FIREFIGHTERS from across South Cumbria came together to tackle a wildfire near the A590.

Crews received the initial call about the blaze adjacent to the A590 east of Newby Bridge at around 5.30pm on Saturday.

There were reports of smoke blowing across the carriageway.

At 9pm on Saturday, a Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service spokesman advised people to stay away from the area and confirmed that the A590 had been closed west bound as a precaution.

Crews from areas including Penrith, Sedbergh, Ambleside, Windermere and Grange were among those called to assist with the wildfire.

Specialist wildfire teams used their expertise to put the fire out.

Roger Exley, Barrow Fire Station manager, who attended the fire, described the incident as ‘challenging’ due to the weather conditions and location.

Crews remained at the site after the fire was extinguished before leaving at midnight. They also spent Sunday monitoring the area to prevent a resurgence of flames.

The fire had reignited on Sunday morning but was soon put back under control.

“It can be very hard because it can be deep seated into the foliage around that area, so we just need to keep checking it,” said Mr Exley.

“We are monitoring it, it is out and it is safe. We just need to make sure it doesn’t reignite and spread with the windy weather we have at the moment.

“It is a difficult situation because the ground is very dry and the wind on this occasion was very strong. These two together plus the fell side generates quite a serious and rapidly moving fire.

“It was challenging.

“Plus, it was night time so it is difficult to send crews up on a fell like that in the darkness.

“We don’t just look at what is happening with the fire, we think about the possibility of spread.”

Those near the fire were contacted by firefighters, including the forestry commission and a nearby farmer.

There was also risk to a caravan site who were contacted to make sure they were ready in case the fire spread and they had to evacuate.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

The Westmorland Gazette | News