FIREFIGHTERS from Braintree, Halstead and Coggeshall have been tackling a fire where 600 tonnes of mixed textiles caught on fire.  

The incident took place at a waste site near Convent Lane, Braintree with nearby residents being told to keep windows and doors shut. 

Firefighters were called to the scene at 8.59pm yesterday. 

Watch Manager Steve Byrne said: "It is a large pile of mixed textiles on fire at a waste site.

"If you live in the nearby area, please keep windows and doors shut as there is a lot of smoke coming from the scene which has caused a smoke plume going towards the Bocking area.

"Crews are likely to remain here overnight to extinguish the fire." 

Update 8am

An Essex County Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "Relief crews have been working at the incident throughout the night". 

Watch Manager John Palmer added: "Crews have worked hard overnight to tackle the fire hotspots in the waste and get the smoke down as much as possible. 

"We are continuing to monitor the hotspots and will remain here until it is safe to hand back over to site staff."