Fire at Essex wood store watched as it burns out

image captionFirefighters expect to be at the scene for several days

A fire in a pile of stored timber at a gravel pit in Essex is being allowed to burn itself out in a controlled manner while adjacent buildings are protected.

The blaze broke out at Little Waltham near Chelmsford on Saturday evening and nine fire engines, a high volume pump and a hose layer were called out.

The wood pile is about 300m (1,000ft) long, and 100m (320ft) wide.

Essex fire service said it had been decided to contain the fire and crews expected to be there for several days.

'Controlled state'

Incident commander John Moulson said the wind direction had hampered firefighting operations at first and a building used to store recycling materials adjacent to the wood pile had been affected by the radiating heat.

"Firefighters remain at the incident monitoring the fire and we are allowing it to burn in a controlled state.

"Fire crews have also protected the building adjacent to the fire."

Mr Moulson said: "Fire crews were confronted with a large wood pile alight at Mid Essex Gravel and worked quickly to prevent the fire from spreading to a building adjacent to the wood pile on fire.

"We have managed to save the property from being destroyed."

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