Major incident declared over large fire at Surrey’s Hankley Common

·2-min read

Fire services have declared a major incident due to a large blaze at a beauty spot in Surrey.

Several fire engines have been sent to the scene at Hankley Common where the fire is estimated to be affecting at least eight hectares of land, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said.

Images and footage from the scene showed flames and large plumes of white/grey smoke billowing across the common.

People have been advised to avoid the area with the warning to stay “far away from the fire as it can travel quickly”.

The fire service said it was called just after midday on Sunday and that it expects crews to remain at the scene until at least Monday.

The cause of the blaze is unknown, it added.

The fire service also urged locals to keep doors and windows closed amid a “great deal of smoke”.

The common was used for filming for part of the James Bond film Skyfall.

On Sunday, the fire 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.”

Surrey Police officers said they are assisting their fire service colleagues and that Thursley Road which runs alongside the common has been closed.

While it said the reason for the blaze has not been established, the fire service urged people to “please help keep our outdoors safe: pack a picnic instead of a disposable bbq & dispose of cigarettes correctly”.

The blaze at Hankley Common in Surrey (Alan Johnson/Twitter/PA) (PA Media)
The blaze at Hankley Common in Surrey (Alan Johnson/Twitter/PA) (PA Media)

Flying instructor Jordan Bridge said the blaze was one of the largest he has seen in the area.

The 24-year-old, from Alton in Hampshire, said that at around lunchtime he saw “huge smoke clouds building to the east of Lasham Airfield” where he works.

He told the PA news agency: “After take-off I could see that the fire was covering a wide area with the smoke extending downwind over Guildford and Woking towards London.

“Obviously (I was) concerned for all involved in the local area given the already stretched resources of local fire services.

“I have seen wildfires before whilst flying but this was certainly one of the largest I’ve seen in the many years I’ve been in Surrey/Hampshire.”

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