Lorry carrying 40 tonnes of hay catches fire on M11 - motorway closed until ‘at least midnight’

PUBLISHED: 19:08 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 22:07 19 July 2018

Picture: COLIN SHEAD/ESSEX POLICE

Picture: COLIN SHEAD/ESSEX POLICE

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A lorry fire on the northbound M11 has shut the motorway between junction 8 and junction 10.

A mechanical digger is assisting firefighters. Picture: ESSEX FIREA mechanical digger is assisting firefighters. Picture: ESSEX FIRE

The lorry caught fire around 5pm this afternoon on the northbound carriageway of the M11.

All vehicles trapped in traffic have now been released.

Fire crews from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are on the scene and leading the incident to control the fire and prevent it from spreading to nearby fields.

Firefighters are continuing to focus on the surrounding risks and dampen down the immediate area to avoid the fire spreading.

A mechanical digger assisting firefighters last night. Picture: ESSEX FIREA mechanical digger assisting firefighters last night. Picture: ESSEX FIRE

A mechanical digger is now being used to assist crews in protecting the surrounding area. Firefighters are attempting to break down the hay bales to fully extinguish the fire.

A spokesman for Essex Fire said: “Crews are currently dealing with a lorry fire on the M11, northbound between junction 8 and junction 9.

“On arrival firefighters reported that the lorry had around 40 tonnes of hay on it and the whole vehicle was 100% alight.

“The road has been closed - please avoid the area.”

Station manager Dave Barnard said: “Our current concern is the possibility of the fire spreading from the lorry to a nearby barley field, so we are working hard to prevent this happening.

“To extinguish the fire we’ve been using water from a large pond adjacent to the incident. We’re also having to shuttle water over to the incident as the hydrants are some distance away.

“In addition to our firefighting activities we are working with Essex Police on the clean up operation and organising how we can move the vehicle on once the fire is extinguished.

“We expect this incident to last until at least midnight so please avoid the area tonight.”

A spokesman for Highways England said: “The M11 northbound is closed between junction 8 and junction 10 due to a HGV fire.

“Road users are advised to follow the Solid Circle symbol led diversion to exit the M11 northbound at J8 to take the second exit at the roundabout and continue along the A120 to Little Hadham.

“Continue along the A120 through Stanton to the A120/A10 roundabout. Take the third exit at the roundabout and continue along the A10 to the A10/A505 roundabout at Royston. Take the third exit from this roundabout and continue on the A505 to re-join the M11 northbound at J10.

“Road users travelling to Stansted Airport are advised to allow plenty of time to complete their journey plan as the diversion route is some 30 miles in length.”

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