300m exclusion zone now in place around Bilsdale Mast

10 August 2021

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at the Bilsdale transmitting centre this afternoon, 10 August 2021.

The initial call came at 13:19 from an engineer working at the transmitter, stating that he believed the mast was on fire due to smoke coming from below the first stay level (approximately 50 – 60 metres up). Calls were also received from members of the public who could see the smoke from some distance.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service worked to control the fire in difficult circumstances and extinguished a fire in a single-storey stone building and a 315ft transmitter mast. Only one building in a complex of four was affected, and there are concerns about the structural integrity of the mast.

A 300m exclusion zone has been put in place around the mast.

A spokesperson for Arqiva said:

The fire at our Bilsdale mast site is under control and we can confirm that there were no injuries or casualties. Our thanks to the attending emergency services for their swift action.

TV and radio services remain off air from the site and we are waiting to assess the extent of the damage caused.

We are following our incident response procedures and have enacted our disaster recovery response.

Our teams are currently mobilising temporary equipment to site however we are unable to provide specific timelines for restoration of any services at this point.

Eight pumps from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident and firefighting has now ceased until the site has been confirmed as safe for further work.

The incident was attended by crews from Helmsley, Malton, Thirsk, Danby, Coulby Newham, Ripon, Northallerton and Acomb in addition to mobile water bowsers from Tadcaster and Boroughbridge.

NYFRS will be working on site tomorrow with Arqiva, the site operators, to bring the incident to safe conclusion.

1 Comment

  1. an unusual occurrence. initial reports suggested that it was a lightning strike. now seems it could have been caused by engineers upgrading the mast to 5g. according to reports it could be out of commission for some time, or have to be demolished and rebuilt.

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