Blaze engulfs large area of undergrowth

A FIRE tore through a large area of undergrowth after a large pile of woodchipping caught on fire.

Both crews from St Albans Fire Station were called to the scene in the Park Street Gravel Pits just before 7.30pm last night (Wednesday).

Wind caused the flames to quickly spread to the bracken surrounding the woodchippings and firefighters spent three hours battling the blaze.

Due to there being no water supply nearby, firefighters couldn’t tackle the flames directly and had to let the fire burn out while creating fire breaks by cutting away the vegetation surrounding the area ablaze to prevent it spreading.

Crew commander Simon Lincoln explained that an area of around 20 metres by five metres was well alight with flames leaping up to seven metres high and he said the bracken would continue smouldering for a further four to five days.

He also stressed that the incident highlighted the danger of fire spreading through woodland and undergrowth in such dry, windy weather and asked the public to be extra vigilant. Firefighters are currently battling huge fires of this nature up and down the country.

The incident in Park Street is thought to have been started deliberately.