Lydd fire: Smoke from enormous blaze spreads across Eastbourne as town’s pollution levels spike

Pollution levels across Eastbourne have soared as smoke from an enormous fire in Lydd, Kent, continues to spread over the town.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:39 am
Photo by Catherine Jones
Photo by Catherine Jones

Hundreds of firefighters are still battling the wildfire which broke out in Lydd Ranges shortly before 5pm on Tuesday (July 23).

People across town reported smoke clogging the sky and even eyes burning as the fire raged 40 miles away.

The coastal parts of Eastbourne are said to be suffering the worst air quality as sensors set up by Clean Air Eastbourne track “extremely high” levels of dangerous particulates across town.

The project’s organisers said on its Twitter page they had never seen levels of particulates this high before.

They said, “This is what Eastbourne is currently downwind of. No wonder our air quality sensors are showing high levels of pollution.

“Particulate levels are still very high in Eastbourne. They started to climb rapidly around 6:20pm. Roselands hit first, followed by Hampden Park, Ratton, then Old Town. This matches the wind blowing smoke from the Lydd fires.”

Photo by Catherine Jones

Firefighters are still working hard this morning (July 24) to tackle the fire – said to be the sixe of three to four football pitches.

The blaze broke out in an area of undergrowth on the Lydd Ranges, near Galloways Road and Jury’s Gap Road.

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

At 5.45am this morning, a Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson 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.

“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.”

Video by Sue Holmes.

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