SMOKE was seen billowing into the air as flames spread across a field near a care home.

Residents from the Walberton Place Care Home in Yapton Lane were evacuated as a precaution as fire crews worked to tackle the blaze.

Five fire engines and an off-road vehicle from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at around 5pm yesterday afternoon.

Firefighters remained at the field to damp down and ensure there were no further hot spots and stayed at the scene into the evening.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said that the risk of severe wildfires is very high, with the Met Office warning that fires that break out in Sussex could potentially be “exceptionally severe” at the start of the weekend.

She said: “The Met Office’s heatwave warning remains in place over the coming days, and the risk of wildfires will remain extremely high.

“We would urge all residents to take care.”