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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
Grass fire strikes the Malverns
Fire on the Malvern Hills
Grassland the area of a football pitch was destroyed
Firefighters were called to the Malvern Hills after an area of grassland the size of a football pitch caught fire.

The blaze started on Monday afternoon near the Worcestershire beacon. The cause of the fire is not known.

Smoke from the blaze could be seen by drivers on the M5 more than 10 miles away.

Hereford and Worcester Fire Service took more than 200 calls from the public. It took firefighters two hours to bring the blaze under control.

Station commander John Pryce said: "Fortunately last week we upgraded our response to the hills during the summer months so two fire appliances and a specialist off-road vehicle were dispatched."

Ian Rowat, of the Malvern Hills Conservators, urged the public to take care not to start fires while on the hills.

He said: "The big message at the moment is not to have barbeques on the hills."

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