Surrey wildfire: Major incident declared as huge fire breaks out – warning to public

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said several fire engines are currently in attendance. Local residents have been asked to avoid the area, close windows and doors, and keep pets inside. Pictures posted on social media show thick smoke filling the afternoon sky.  Residents from around the county – in Woking, Guildford, Horsell, Addlestone and several others – have reported seeing smoke and/or can smell it from where they currently are, according to Surrey Live.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: “We have declared a major incident at Hankley Common due to a large fire in the open. We have several fire engines in attendance.

“There is a great deal of smoke so please avoid the area, windows and doors should be closed if nearby and pets kept indoors.”

Waverley Beat (Surrey Police) also urged the public to avoid the impacrted area until further notice. 

The service tweeted: “There is an increased presence of Police and the Fire Service at Hankley Common near Godalming due to a Fire.

“We are asking the public to avoid the area until further notice.”

During course of this month, there have been several wildfires across Surrey, including at Bisley Ranges and Frensham.

This is also the third wildfire at Hankley Common in under two weeks as the UK experiences surging temperatures and a scorching heatwave.

Firefighters were called on Wednesday and had warned people to stay away from the area and to close their windows and doors.

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Crews remained at the location throughout the following night and announced on Thursday that four hectares of land had been burnt during the fire.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service had tweeted: “Our response to this incident has now been scaled back, but we have two vehicles on the scene to monitor the fire.

“In total, four hectares have burnt. Despite overnight rain, we expect more warm weather and vegetation remains extremely dry.”

A spokesperson had added: “We have two specialist vehicles on site continuing to monitor the situation, all other crews have left the scene.

“The fire in total caused approximately 5001 to 1000sqm damage. There were no casualties.”

Local resident Alan Johnson told Surrey Live: “It’s an absolutely massive fire. I believe some army buildings in the area may have been subsumed by it, although I don’t know.

“It must stretch for at least half a mile. There are myriad firefighters there but it’s very difficult to get to because it’s on a common, so the sort of vehicles that can get to it are quite small.

“I don’t know how much water they can carry but I can’t imagine it’s very much.

“There’s a very high wind at the moment too.”

Hankley Common is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that has been used as a filming location.

It has been used in several James Bond films, including the climax of Skyfall, and Marvel epic Black Widow.


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