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Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters were called to a grass fire at Hornchurch Country Park on South End Road in Hornchurch yesterday evening.
Around four to five hectares of trees grass and shrubland, equivalent to the size of four or five rugby fields, were damaged by fire. Crews remained on site damping down for several hours after the fire was brought under control to ensure there was no reignition.
The fire was very visible from South End Road and prompted over 20 calls to the Brigade’s 999 control centre.
A Brigade spokesperson said: “During the hot weather we are attending a large number of grass fires across London. We’re asking the public to take care not to drop cigarettes or matches on dry grass and to keep a very close eye on barbecues. Dropped glass can also start fires as the sun can magnify the sun’s rays. Grass fires can quickly spread and cause serious damage, so if you see grass smouldering, please call 999 immediately.”
• Never leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them
• Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
• Dispose of smoking materials such as cigarettes safely
• Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires
The Brigade was called at 1601 and the incident was over by 1840. Fire crews from Harold Hill, Dagenham, Romford, Ilford, East Ham and Lambeth fire stations were at the scene.
This incident came on the same day as crews tackled five other large grass fires across the city, with significant ones in Barnet, Beckenham, Walthamstow, Beckton and West Wickham.