FIREFIGHTERS have been dealing with an extensive woodland fire near the A181, at Old Keepers Wood between Wheatley Hill and Wingate overnight.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service had six appliances and a number of support appliances, including a specialised targeted response vehicle and their bulk water tanker in attendance at the height of the fire.

Crews from Peterlee, Wheatley Hill, Durham, Spennymoor, Seaham, Sedgefield and Bishop Auckland were called at 5.44pm yesterday evening.

Video: Daniel Gregory 

This incident involved over 1.5 hectares of woodland.

The service later scaled back the operation, but has had an appliance in attendance throughout the night.

Police were called to the incident shortly after 7pm.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious. 

Witness Daniel Gregory said: “We noticed the fire about 4pm yesterday. I was shocked no one had called it in because everyone saw it.

“It was lucky it didn’t reach the tree line because it would have been a different story entirely and caused so much more damage."

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said crews will be visiting the site this morning for a reinspection.

The land is believed to be private and owned by a logging company.