Dramatic pictures as huge blaze engulfs popular walking spot

Fire crews and police were called to the scene Picture: ESSEX POLICE IN COLCHESTER

Fire crews and police were called to the scene Picture: ESSEX POLICE IN COLCHESTER - Credit: Archant

This was the dramatic scene at Colchester’s Middlewick Ranges after a fire - believed to have been started deliberately - broke out at the popular walking spot.

Smoke seen pouring from the Wick on Monday evening Picture: ESSEX POLICE IN COLCHESTER

Smoke seen pouring from the Wick on Monday evening Picture: ESSEX POLICE IN COLCHESTER - Credit: Archant

Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue were both sent to deal with the grass blaze in Mersea Road on Monday evening, with residents living nearby told to stay indoors for their own safety.

Firefighters were called to the area, known locally at the Wick, at 9.10pm.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue said: “On arrival, crews reported that an area of grass roughly 100m x 50m was already burnt and a fire was burning through gorse and heather plants.

“Crews used an off-road vehicle from Manningtree to access the fire and extinguished it by 10.30pm.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be deliberate at this stage.