London firefighters have declared a major incident as firefighters battle an upsurge in fires in the capital during the record-breaking heatwave.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the service was under immense pressure due to the number of serious incidents on the hottest day on record in the UK.
Fifteen fire engines and 100 firefighters tackled a huge blaze in a residential area in the village of Wennington in east London on Tuesday afternoon. Television images showed burning buildings and fields and black smoke rising into the air.
Firefighters said it was one of 10 major fires they were tackling as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Mayor of London wrote on Twitter: “The London Fire Brigade has just declared a major incident in response to a huge outbreak of fires in the capital today. This is essential: @LondonFire is under immense pressure.
Patrick Goulbourne, London Fire Department‘s assistant commissioner for operational resilience and control, said all emergency services were facing unprecedented challenges during the heatwave.
“The brigade remains ready to respond to incidents; however, we want to make sure our resources are available to people who really need our help,” he said. “If you see a smoldering fire, don’t hesitate to call us. The earlier we are informed of a fire, the sooner we can bring it under control and prevent it from spreading further, reducing the need for us to mobilize additional resources.
“We are also urging people not to have barbecues or bonfires today as the ground is incredibly dry which means even the smallest sparks could start a fire.”
Leicestershire firefighters also declared a major incident hours later, tweeting: “We have declared a major incident due to high demand in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We will not attend automatic fire alarms. Please only call us in an emergency. »
Thirty fire engines were dealing with a blaze in Upminster, east London, with around three hectares of a cornfield and scrubland on fire. Smoke drifted over the M25 as 175 firefighters tried to put out the blaze.
Firefighters said 12 fire engines were battling a blaze involving garden fences and trees on Uxbridge Road in Pinner, and 10 crews were battling a restaurant fire on Green Lanes in Southgate.
Eight fire engines were battling a grass fire on Oaks Road in Croydon, and eight were attending a grass fire on Ballards Road in Dagenham. Eight other teams were battling a fire on The Broadway in Wembley, and six were attending a grass fire on Sunningfields Crescent in Hendon.
Four fire engines were battling a grass fire on Chapel View in Croydon, and four were battling a blaze on Sidcup Road in Eltham, firefighters said.