MORE than 40 firefighters have tackled a blaze a waste facility.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to PJ Skips on the northbound A22 near Hailsham at 8.19pm on Monday.

Crews from Hailsham, Herstmonceux, Eastbourne, Pevensey, Heathfield, Uckfield and Mayfield, two water bowsers from Uckfield and Burgess Hill and one aerial ladder platform from Hastings were sent to the scene.

Police closed one lane of the A22 northbound while crews arrived and residents were advised to keep their windows and doors closed due to smoke.

At around 2.30am the number of firefighters were scaled down to three crews.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service incident commander Tony McCord said: "At the moment we separating and removing some of the rubbish and rubble which was on fire and damping down.

"We are carrying out a controlled burn on some of the timber and this will take a considerable time. 

"While it is now mostly steam coming from the piles of debris, there is still some smoke in the area. 

"Environmental services are helping us ensure that any water is being safely taken away. We expect to be here for most of the day.

“The cause of the fire is not known at the moment but will be investigated.  At this time, we do not believe it is suspicious.”

The A22 was closed northbound between the Cophall roundabout and the South Road roundabout overnight but was reopened at 7.30am.

One lane of the carriageway is due to be closed at midday for an hour to assist with the operations to make the site safe.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "We would like to thank the residents of the surrounding area for their ongoing assistance and cooperation during this incident."

Firefighters are likely to remain on scene until the end of the day.