DRIVERS who have seen a massive fire billowing smoke into the sunny Somerset sky have been told not to worry.

Residents of Watchet, people travelling on A39, and others have all seen giant plumes of smoke rising from the Quantock Hills.

A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said they had been warned in advance about controlled burning that was set to take place in the area.

The practice is known as swaling, and is the annual burning of scrub to reduce old vegetation and allow new grass to come through.

This also provides grazing for livestock.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "We are aware of a fire on West Hill, East Quantoxhead.

"We were informed about it before, and it is expected to go on until around 3pm.

"There are a number of controlled burnings going on around our whole area of coverage.

"The fire will be visible from the A39.

"We have not attended the scene."