No barbecues says Sadiq Khan as fires break out across the capital

Fire in Wennington, east London  (PA)
Fire in Wennington, east London (PA)

The Mayor of London has asked people not to have barbecues after high temperatures led to a major incident being declared in the capital.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) made the declaration as it warned it was battling “several significant” incidents in the capital as temperatures hit 40c.

Mr Khan told Sky News: “It’s not about us being the nanny state or party poopers, it’s the reality of accidents happening and fires starting and spreading rapidly, in your garden, decking, homes and so forth.”

Around 100 firefighters and 15 engines were tackling a blaze in the village of Wennington in east London on Tuesday afternoon, with television footage showing black smoke billowing into the air, with buildings and fields on fire, while people were evacuated, horses were taken to safety and the nearby rail line was closed.

A firefighter at the scene, asked by the PA news agency what conditions were like, replied: “absolute hell”, while those affected by the blaze said it had been spreading “fast”.

Two people were also taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation following a fire in Dagenham.

There were also blazes being tackled in Pinner, Upminster, Southgate, Croydon, Wembley, Eltham and Hendon amongst other locations.

LFB’s assistant commissioner for operational resilience and control, Patrick Goulbourne, said: “The brigade remains ready to respond to incidents.

“However, we want to ensure our resources are available for people who really need our help.

“If you see a fire smouldering, please don’t hesitate to call us.

“The sooner we know about a fire, the sooner we can bring it under control and prevent it from spreading further, reducing the need for us to mobilise additional resources.

“We are also strongly urging people not to have barbecues or bonfires today as the ground is incredibly dry, which means even the smallest sparks could cause a fire.

“Please take care during the heatwave as all emergency services are facing unprecedented challenges.”