Out of control bonfire sparked second major blaze within weeks

Smoke is seen billowing from the blaze in Clenchwarton

Smoke is seen billowing from the blaze in Clenchwarton - Credit: Connie Joannah

An out of control fire was today revealed as the cause of major blaze which sent plumes of acrid smoke into homes.

A pall of smoke could be seen from miles away from the scene of the fire at Clenchwarton, near King's Lynn, on Friday afternoon. It was the second major incident in the Fens in less than a month.

More than 50 firefighters were sent to a site off Main Road, near the junction with Station Road, where they worked through the night.

Emergency services advised people living downwind of the site to keep their windows closed.

A fire service spokesman said the fire was the third it had been called out to on the same site this year.

He added: "No investigation is under way, as the cause has been determined as an intentional, managed fire which got out of control. NFRS always offer advice to property owners/residents in these circumstances on how to observe better fire safety."

Nine fire crews and a water carrier were called to the scene of the fire, as well as several police cars.

Nine fire crews and a water carrier were called to the scene of the fire, as well as several police cars. - Credit: Julia Cooper

Borough councillor Alexandra Kemp said: "The smoke went right through South Lynn, into people's homes. More measures need to be taken to prevent fires like this. It's very bad for people's health breathing in toxic smoke."

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The latest fire happened three weeks after a major blaze in a pallet stack beside the  A17 at nearby Walpole St Andrew on April 16 took more than 12 hours to put out. There is no suggestion that the two incidents are related.

A17 fire

Firefighters took around three hours to put out the blaze - Credit: Chris Bishop

One person living near the site of the Clenchwarton fire said: "It was seriously black smoke."

Another villager said: "All down Hall Road you could smell it, it looked like a fog of this thick, acrid smoke.

"Luckily it rained overnight between Friday and first thing Saturday morning, so that helped to wash it away a bit."

The seat of the fire was some distance from the road and is screened by trees and bushes. On Monday gates at the entrance were chained and there did not appear to any activity.

After the blaze borough councillor Paul Kunes said there had been previous fires at the site but the weekend's incident was "on a  bigger scale".