Country hotel alert as fire goes out of control

PUBLISHED: 06:54 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:04 24 May 2010

Firefighters spent hours battling a heath blaze at a well-known beauty spot. Motorists on the M5 saw 15ft flames spreading across scrub on the steep sides of Crook Peak on Monday (March 20). At the height of the fire, staff at the Webbington Hotel in Loxt

Firefighters spent hours battling a heath blaze at a well-known beauty spot.Motorists on the M5 saw 15ft flames spreading across scrub on the steep sides of Crook Peak on Monday (March 20).At the height of the fire, staff at the Webbington Hotel in Loxton could see flames nearing the building and smoke filled the lobby.Staff were put on standby to evacuate the hotel, but by 7.30pm the fire brigade's seven vehicles and 35 firefighters had brought the blaze under control.Four to five hectares of land, equivalent to about 10 football pitches, were scorched - twice the area the National Trust had planned to clear in its annual burning of scrub to rejuvenate the area.The trust's mid Somerset property manager, Gordon Hewston, said: "The wind got up after we started the fire and a couple of sparks flew across the firebreaks we had cut. "The fire started to move up the hill and, as it did, the wind became stronger and things got out of control, so we called the fire brigade."It means we've got next year's burning done this year. Ideally it would not have happened, but at the end of the day there's no harm done.

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