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Crews called to Williton as 'Exmoor warning' is issued by MP

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger

Eight fire engines were sent to a fire in Williton overnight.

A crew from the village as well as Minehead, Nether Stowey, Wiveliscombe, Bridgwater and Taunton all attended.

An alarm went off at a factory in Roughmoor just after 3.15am

Crews remain on site this morning damping down.

Fire crews were last night also called to a fire in Chard's Beeching Close

Crews from Honiton, Axminster and Ilminster were called just after 6pm.

It comes as The MP for Bridgwater has raised concerns about the possible closure of fire stations

Up to eight fire stations across Devon and Somerset could go -  including Porlock - under plans to save £8 million pounds.

A consultation is expected to start next month

Ian Liddell-Grainger says he's concerned about response times in places like Exmoor if changes are agreed.

He said: "Essentially you would be left with one fire appliance between Minehead and Combe Martin, 30 miles away with the only other cover for Exmoor in Dulverton, 20 miles to the south,” he said.

"It might look fine when you sketch out the details on the back of a fag packet but have any of the fire service hierarchy ever visited the area to see the one in four gradients, the narrow lanes and the main roads clogged with summer holiday traffic? Have they calculated the possible response times if back-up is needed?

"When you factor in the additional risks of a high number of thatched properties and the fact that only last week scientists warned that wildfires are going to become more frequent because of climate change clearly these proposals are going to expose the people of Exmoor to a lethally high fire risk."

Mr Liddell-Grainger said he 'accepted that fire service resources were already stretched partly because of the difficulty of recruiting enough retained firemen'.

He added: "On the other hand there are other options for economies apart from cutting front-line services. 

"I understand DSFRS employs between 600 and 700 support staff. The point was recently made by a full-time firefighter that when a fire officer goes on leave no-one notices but when a fireman takes a holiday chaos ensues as people struggle to cover his shifts."

For more details about the possible fire station closures click here

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