Major incident declared in London as fires burn in record heat

A rise in fires across London has led to a major incident being declared, as temperatures in the capital have broken records.

More than 350 firefighters have been deployed to tackle at least four blazes on the outskirts of the city. 

The news comes after Britain’s highest ever temperature was recorded at Heathrow Airport today at 12:50pm, with the heat reaching 40.2°C. 

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: ‘London Fire Brigade has just declared a Major Incident in response to a huge surge in fires across the capital today. This is critical: @LondonFire is under immense pressure. Please be safe. I’m in touch with the Commissioner and will share updates when I have them.’ 

people walking near fire

He reminded citizens to avoid barbecuing on grass or balconies, to not leave broken bottles or glass on the grass, to dispose of cigarettes safely, report a fire as soon as it’s spotted and to not  take risks. 

The hot weather has led to grassland burning out of control in some areas and has led to several houses being destroyed in Wennington. 

Approximately 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines were sent out to The Green in Wennington to attempt to control the blaze. 

Fires are also taking place in Croydon, Upminster, Pinner, Dagenham, Wembley, Hendon and Eltham. 

London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Andy Roe, is calling for an urgent ban of disposable barbecues in parks and public spaces as they have contributed to a surge in fires.

He has written to all London local authorities urging them to put the ban in place after the Brigade has attended 1,000 grass and open land fires since the beginning of June. 

Barbecues have been found to be one of the most common causes of these kinds of blazes. 

In his letter, Commissioner Roe wrote: ‘With no end to the hot weather in sight, I am deeply concerned that the unprecedented scale of these fires is set to continue, putting lives at risk as well as devastating green spaces around the capital.

‘London Fire Brigade has been issuing warnings and safety advice to Londoners throughout the summer, but people are continuing to behave carelessly and recklessly.

‘I am now calling for a temporary ban on the use of barbecues in all public parks and open spaces and I’m asking for your help to keep people safe.’

Photo by Issy Bailey


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