MID Essex fire crews were on hand to help to tackle a large field fire after a combine harvester malfunctioned.

A crew from Halstead as well as a ranger and an incident command unit from Witham were called to a large field fire near Harwich Road, Ardleigh, at 2.40pm on Wednesday.

On arrival, crews reported that a large field and scrubland was on fire.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said crews contained the fire and worked tirelessly to extinguish it.

The brigade advised nearby residents to keep windows and doors closed because of the smoke and others were advised to avoid the area altogether.

The fire was extinguished by 6.15pm and crews remained on the scene for a few more hours to dampen the area down.

At about 6.40pm, the fire was extinguished, with four crews remaining on scene to dampen the area down.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Three large fields were affected by the fire which spread in windy conditions across the road.

Crews believe the fire was caused after a combine harvester malfunctioned.

Station manager Nick Singleton said: “Crews worked really hard under arduous and windy conditions to prevent the fire spreading. We had a thatched cottage and stables nearby and by putting a fire break in, we were able to prevent it from spreading to those buildings.

“We’d like to thank our colleagues in Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service who sent a crew from Holbrook and two crews from Princes Street.

“We’d also like to thank the farmers who helped us on scene with their machinery.”