UPDATE: A272 reopens after huge heathland fire

Firefighters attempted to surround the blaze. Picture: West Sussex FRS
Firefighters attempted to surround the blaze. Picture: West Sussex FRS

Firefighters have now put out a fire that affected swathes of heathland near Midhurst.

The fire was earlier reported to be affecting 12 hectares of land, but later almost doubled to 22 hectares, the fire service confirmed.

One hectare is about the size of London’s Trafalgar Square.

The blaze is located at Ipping Common, near Elsted.

A fire service spokesman said crews were called to the fire at 11.28am today and the heathland was ‘well alight’.

Firefighters began by using beaters and other specialist equipment, trying to surround the fire.

Picture: West Sussex FRS/Jon Lacey

Picture: West Sussex FRS/Jon Lacey

They later used foam to try and create a barrier to stop it from expanding further, according to the fire service.

Firefighter Jon Lacey confirmed on Twitter at 2.13pm that the fire had been put out.

As of 3.40pm today the A272 is open again, the fire service announced, after drivers were earlier asked to avoid the area.

The fire service spokesman said the cause of the fire is currently unknown and there is likely to be an investigation now that it is dealt with.

Picture:  Charles Homan

Picture: Charles Homan

No injuries have been reported.