TWELVE crews from Hereford & Worcester, West Midlands and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Services have been fighting a serious fire in the Lickey Hills.
Crews were called this afternoon at 13:15 to the incident which occurred in an area bordered to the south by Rose Hill, to the west by Eachway Lane and to the north and east by the B4120 and Leach Green Lane.
Initially, the fire covered around around 400 square metres but this eventually increased to around 50,000 sq m.
Firefighting was hampered by heat, humidity and the terrain as crews battled to stop the spread of the fire which was fanned by a southerly wind.
Fifteen people, including four children, had to be evacuated from three properties off Eachway Lane.
West Midlands Ambulance Service and West Mercia Police have also been in attendance.
People are being asked to stay away from the scene.
“We would also ask people who live under the smoke plume to keep their windows and doors closed,” said Group Commander Adrian Farmer, who is the incident commander.
“We would also take the opportunity to remind people, in these exceptionally hot and dry conditions, to take special care with barbecues and any other outdoor fires.”
A Tactical Coordinating Group, comprising representatives from the emergency services and local councils has met and is scheduled to meet again, if deemed necessary, later this evening.