FIRE crews have been dealing with major moorland fire which has spread quickly due to high winds.

Five crews were called out to Waldridge Fell, between Edmondsley and Chester-le-Street, at around 8am on Friday.

Colin Davis, group manager of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire covered around 17 acres and was mainly gorse bushes.

He said the fire was not near any buildings or livestock, but did ask people to avoid the area.

Mr Davis said: “The wind has played a part in it.

“We would get it under control is some area and then it has jumped up in other areas.

“It is contributing. It is too early to say how it started but it has been pretty dry. This is a prolonged job and we expect to be here overnight.”