Firefighters still battling huge fire on Lydd Ranges

Firefighters are still working hard this morning (Wednesday, July 24) to tackle a huge fire in Kent.

The blaze broke out in an area of undergrowth on the Lydd Ranges, near Galloways Road and Jury’s Gap Road, shortly before 5pm yesterday (Tuesday, July 23).

Fire on Lydd Ranges. Photo by Sueann Barnsey. SUS-190723-191631001

Fire on Lydd Ranges. Photo by Sueann Barnsey. SUS-190723-191631001

The fire, said to be the size of three to four football pitches, sent plumes of smoke across the coast towards Rye and Hastings, and even as far as Eastbourne.

At its height, more than 100 firefighters and 20 fire engines were being used to tackle the flames, but this has since been reduced.

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Fire on Lydd Ranges. Photo by Sueann Barnsey. SUS-190723-191610001

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At 5.45am this morning, a Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Around 45 firefighters are still at the scene of a large undergrowth fire on the Lydd Ranges.

“Good progress was made overnight in tackling the fire and the number of fire engines has been reduced to nine.

Terri Evenden saw the smoke rolling in from the seafront in Hastings SUS-190724-102544001

Terri Evenden saw the smoke rolling in from the seafront in Hastings SUS-190724-102544001

“Crews worked incredibly hard in tough conditions to get on top of the fire and are now damping down hot spots over a large area using all-terrain vehicles and hose reel jet.”

The spokesman said firefighting efforts have been hampered by the tinder dry land and the breeze from the sea fanning the flames.

At one stage, an unmanned drone was used to capture overhead imagery, which was instantly streamed to enable incident commanders on the ground to get a real picture of what they were dealing with and to make decisions about the best way to deal with the incident.

People in the Lydd area are still being advised to keep their windows and doors shut as a precaution.

Donna Stevenson saw the smoke from Hollington SUS-190724-102507001

Donna Stevenson saw the smoke from Hollington SUS-190724-102507001

Simon Offen captured the smoke cloud while on a train to Hastings SUS-190724-102441001

Simon Offen captured the smoke cloud while on a train to Hastings SUS-190724-102441001