FIREFIGHTERS could be at a 5,000 tonne burning pile of wood in Mountnessing for “several days”.

The fire, on Thoby Lane, stated shortly before 7am on Monday. Nine crews from across south Essex attended the scene, with six crews still on the scene 15 hours later.

Crews have been using the aerial ladder to access the fire. The incident commander said the pile was 15 meters tall, as was 50 by 30 meters wide.

Speaking at the scene, Divisional Officer Matt Hughes said: "The fire is in a large pile consisting mainly of disused timber. Crews are working to contain the fire and protect surrounding risks.

“The site is surrounded by other industrial sites including scrap yards and agricultural equipment so we are working hard to contain the fire.

"Crews are likely to be here for several days dealing with this fire."

By 9pm on Monday, crews were still controlling the blaze using to ground monitors and the aerial ladder to contain the fire and protect risks.