FIRE crews spent hours tackling a hillside blaze that caused major disruption on a main road.

Most of the B5119 Northop Road linking Flint and Northop was closed to motorists yesterday.

Residents were either evacuated or advised to stay indoors and close their windows after fire erupted at lunchtime from a garden in the grounds of the Mountain Park Hotel, Flint Mountain.

After the blaze spread to nearby conifer trees a thick smell of smoke continued to hang in the air for several hours as fire and police crews remained at the scene.

A 200 metre cordon was imposed while concerns existed that cylinders might be among the rubbish in the fire, the cause of which remained unknown last night.

Investigations are due to continue today.

There was smoke coming from the house.

Three hours after firefightes were called to the scene shortly after 1.45pm a spokeswoman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was now under control and firefighters were cooling cylinders at the site.

She added: “The fire originated within a domestic garden on the grounds of The Mountain Park Hotel on Northop Road, Flint Mountain and spread to nearby conifer trees.

“Crews from Flint, Deeside Mold and Wrexham and the Incident Command Unit from Rhyl were at the scene.

“The cause of the fire is not yet known.”

As the fire raged hotel manager Tommy O’Neill said: “They have not evacuated the hotel but we have all been told to stay inside.

“We have evacuated the rooms and we are all in one place in the bar.

“It is because of the smoke. It is blowing our way. It is safer inside, but the smoke is getting inside.”

The fire caused damage to 100 square metres of rubbish.

Another witness was George Silcock, 69, who lives behind the hotel on Northop Road.

“We only know what we have been told by police,” he said.

“They have advised us to close our windows and stay indoors.

“Earlier on the smoke was very bad and you can still feel it now. But I have not felt in danger from it.”

Mr Silcock’s neighbour, Brenda Williams, has lived on Lon-y-Plas, off Northop Road, for 28 years.

She said: “I have never known a fire like this so close to us before.

“The smoke has been pretty bad. You can really feel it.”

Flint Mountain resident Joe Silver also witnessed the fire at close quarters.

He said: “The smoke was thick and pretty bad and there was ash falling on some of the window sills and cars.”