THE streets of Walney were filled will smoke yesterday morning after a fire ravaged through a coastline golf course.

Firefighters were called to the incident at Furness Golf Course, on Central Drive, around 3.30am yesterday after more than 20 reports from concerned residents.

A team of five firefighters urged homeowners to keep windows and doors closed.

The crew from Walney also controlled the blaze from spreading.

Barrow station manager Mark Ducie said: “The fire was big and reached 50 metres high, which was caused by the strong winds coming in from the Irish Sea.

“The smoke plume reached 200 metres square but the fire was contained quite easily by the Walney crew in attendance.

“So hats off to the firefighters who were there.

“On this occasion we believe the fire may have been caused by either youths in the area, or a late-night dog walker, who could have been smoking and failed to discard the cigarette properly.”

The strong winds caused a large quantity of smoke to blow across the island and towards Barrow.

Alec Proffitt, who lives on Darent Avenue, Walney, said: “The streets were blackened with smoke and with the wind, it was being pushed up the street fairly quickly.

“I checked up the road to see if it was a house, but thankfully it seemed to be coming from the golf course.

“The air was clear by the morning, but there still seemed to be a strong smell of smoke.”

Another resident, who lives on Darent Avenue, said: “One of my windows faces the watch tower and I saw a huge plume of smoke.

“The fire engine had to actually go onto the golf course.

“The smoke was that bad the fire engine disappeared from my sight.”

Mr Ducie admitted the area was a constant nuisance for fire crews.

“The area is not secure and it’s a popular location for youths to hang around,” said Mr Ducie.

“I ask residents to call the police on 101 if they see any suspicious activity.

“I’m not blaming youths, it could have been caused by a cigarette. So I urge the public if they’re smoking around that area, to dispose of cigarettes properly.”