Bilsdale mast fire: 300-metre exclusion zone set up due to concerns over structure's safety

A 300-metre exclusion zone has been set up around the Bilsdale telecommunications mast after it was badly damaged in a fire yesterday.

Bilsdale mast

The mast near Helmsley transmits Freeview television and radio signal to homes across North Yorkshire, Teesside and County Durham, and there were extensive outages across the network when the fire broke out at around 1.30pm on Tuesday. One of the ancillary buildings at the complex also caught alight.

An update released by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the cause of the blaze is still unknown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"The initial call came 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 315-metre 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.

"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."

Temporary transmitters will be installed at the site to resume broadcast signal for customers affected.