UPDATE: Firefighters injured as 20 crews fight Woodbury Common blaze

PUBLISHED: 18:17 23 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:02 25 April 2017

Aerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service Exeter

Aerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service Exeter

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Latest: *50 members of public dial 999 *High winds spread flames *Woodbury Park Hotel evacuated *One firefighter taken to hospital

Aerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service ExeterAerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service Exeter

Some 20 fire appliances have been tackling a huge gorse blaze on Woodbury Common.

The flames spread quickly due to high winds and ‘a number’ of firefighters have been injured – with one taken to hospital.

The fire service received 50 calls from the members of the public and smoke can be seen from miles around the area.

Woodbury Park Hotel evacuated its guests.

Aerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service ExeterAerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service Exeter

The blaze started at around 2pm near Woodbury Castle.

Police said that 20 fire engines, four water carriers, a high volume pump and two incident command units were in place.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer Lee Howell said crews were not sure at this stage what the cause of the fire is. He said their focus is very much on reducing the impact on local communities and making sure everyone is safe.

Mr Howell said ‘a number of firefighters’ were injured through smoke inhalation and that one has been burnt and taken to hospital for precautionary checks. Mr Howell said firefighters were doing everything they could in the circumstances to bring the blaze under control.

Aerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service ExeterAerial view of Woodbury Common fire by National Police Air Service Exeter

A fire service spokesman said: “Fire appliances from across Devon and Somerset are currently in attendance, tackling a very large gorse fire on Woodbury common, that spread quickly due to high winds.

“We received just under 50 calls to this incident from members of the public on the common, people that live locally and from people who could see it in the distance.

“In total we have 20 fire appliances in attendance, together with various special appliances including a high volume pump. Crews are at work firefighting from various locations on and around the common to try and bring this fire under control.”

Police have closed the B3180 between the Halfway Inn and Four Firs and have told the public to avoid the Woodbury area.

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