Fire services have declared a major incident in Surrey and have urged Londoners to cancel barbecues in the capital as firefighters continue to tackle ‘large’ weather-related blazes.
Several fire engines were dispatched to Hankley Common, a Surrey beauty spot, on Sunday after a large fire that is believed to have affected at least eight hectares of land broke out, according to Surrey Fire and Rescue.
Crews are expected to remain at the scene until at least Monday, and people have been advised to avoid the area. Some local roads were closed and residents were told to keep doors and windows closed amid “lots of smoke”.
London firefighters also said they were tackling several ‘large’ hot weather-related fires in the city, with incidents reported in Enfield, Hayes and Thamesmead, and appealed to the public to call off any planned barbecue.
In a tweet On Sunday afternoon, firefighters said they had seen an above-average number of incidents: “We are tackling significant incidents in Enfield, Hayes and Thamesmead. Between midnight and 5:00 p.m., we saw more incidents than we would in a normal 24-hour period.
“Please help us prevent new fires by canceling all scheduled barbecues, removing litter, especially glass, from the meadows and properly disposing of cigarettes. Our firefighters and screeners are doing a job fantastic in difficult conditions. Your cooperation will greatly help us.
Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire at Rammey Marsh in Enfield on Sunday to tackle a blaze covering an area of 20 hectares.
The LFB then tweeted that the fire was under control, adding: “Please spare a thought for the firefighters working in this heat and help us prevent further fires by not barbecuing, removing glass from the meadows and disposing of cigarettes correctly.”
Hankley Common was one of the locations used in the James Bond film Skyfall.
Although the immediate cause of the fire is unknown, the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service also appealed to the public, saying: “Please help keep our exterior safe: prepare a picnic instead of a disposable barbecue and dispose of cigarettes properly.”
People have been warned to stay ‘away from fire as it can move quickly’. Surrey Police are helping fellow firefighters and said Thursley Road, which borders the township, has been closed.