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Video: Two fires in two days at Shropshire beauty spot

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Firefighters were called to a county beauty spot to tackle a second hillside fire in as many days.

Less than 24 hours after 1,000 square metres of gorse went up in flames on the side of the Stiperstones at Crowsnest, near Snailbeach, fire crews were back at the scene yesterday, this time to deal with peat smouldering underground.

Tuesday's gorse fire, believed to have been caused by controlled burning that got out of hand, was put out by 7pm that day.

But four fire crews from Bishop's Castle, Church Stretton and Minsterley returned to the area at about 9am yesterday.

They had to deal with what was described as a "deep seated" fire as peat burned underground.

Crews used fire-fighting knapsacks as well as shovels, forks and brooms to dig out the fire and damp it down.

The smouldering blaze was out by about 12.20pm, but officers returned to the site for an inspection at about 4pm.

A spokesman for Shropshire Fire and Rescue said: "We had reports of about six to eight pockets of smoke in the ground."

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Asked if it was linked to Tuesday's gorse fire in the same area, he said: "It's difficult to prove either way, but it would seem a fair assumption to make."

On Tuesday, crews from Bishop's Castle and Minsterley were called at 4.10pm and brought the gorse fire under control within about two hours, using beaters and one hose reel jet.

Nigel Davies, at Central Farm, Crowsnest, said: "It's just above us here at the farm.

"I could see the smoke coming up from the hillside, but I wasn't worried as it's on the other side of the road up the hill.

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"When they came back today I just thought they were coming to inspect it."

No injuries, damage to property or road closures were reported.

In July 2012 the Oak Hill area of the Stiperstones nature reserve was devastated by fire after a spell of dry, hot weather.

The blaze took 70 firefighters more than six hours to bring under control, and smoke could be seen up to 10 miles away in Shrewsbury.

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