Nearly 20 firefighters spent three hours bringing a large wildfire in west Cumbria under control, prompting yet another desperate plea from the emergency service for people to be aware of the dangers fires in the open can cause.

More than 10,000 square metres of grassland was affected by the blaze, which started at about 4.45pm yesterday close to the railway line running close to the village of Lowca.

Two fire engines and crews from Whitehaven's fire station, a crew from Workington fire station and a specialist wildfire vehicle were all called to the scene of the blaze, which was close not only to the west Cumbrian coastal railway line but also to a number of wind turbines.

While the reason behind why the fire started is not yet clear, the blaze has prompted a further plea from Cumbria's firefighters for people to be aware of just how dangerous fires in open spaces can be - not only because of the fires themselves, but also because tackling them can stop a large number of firefighters away from being able to respond to a potential incident elsewhere.

A spokesman for Whitehaven fire station said: "Wildfires are physically exhausting for crews and strip the fire cover away from where it might be needed.

"The police will prosecute anyone found to be maliciously lighting fires.

"Please think."