Gallery: Massive fire rips through countryside

SIXTY firefighters spent three hours bringing a massive heathland blaze under control on Suffolk’s heritage coast.

SIXTY firefighters spent three hours bringing a massive heathland blaze under control on Suffolk's heritage coast today.

Strong winds hampered crews, with the flames spreading quickly across four acres of heathland near to Thorpeness Golf Club.

It is not yet known how the fire started, or whether there was any link to three youths seen running from the flames alongside the tenth fairway at around 3pm.

Around a dozen horses fled into a neighbouring field and there were fears for the safety of a number of livestock.

Incident commander Kevin Burton, of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said his teams were hampered by the weather and the isolated terrain.

He said: “The fire developed rapidly because it was a windy start to the afternoon. We had difficulties getting the water supply to the scene and there were huge access problems.

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“There are a lot of liveries and piggeries here so that was our main concern. It took us three hours to get the fire under control and we used a huge number of resources.”

Fire crews struggled to get to the scene, which was hidden from the road by trees, but they were directed by the golf club senior professional, Frank Hill.