Wanstead Flats fire: Huge grass fire erupts in east London sending smoke billowing into sky

Patrick Grafton-Green

More than 225 firefighters battled an enormous grass fire which erupted on shrubland in east London.

The dramatic inferno broke out on Wanstead Flats on Sunday afternoon sending smoke billowing into the sky.

The London Fire Brigade said 100 hectares of grass was alight and was being tackled by firefighters using 40 engines. People living nearby were warned to close doors and windows.

Images posted on social media show bright orange flames producing thick plumes of grey smoke.

Cann Hall Police tweeted earlier: "Very large fire on the tinder-dry Wanstead Flats. Very heavy smoke will affect roads in the area.

"Whether on foot or driving please avoid the area for the time being."

Smoke could be seen rising into the air from across the capital.

Group Manager Rob Davies who is at the scene said: “This was a large grass fire and while Wanstead Flats is an area of grass land, crews had to work very quickly to stop it from spreading.

"Smoke was making conditions very difficult for firefighters and causing a lot of disruption to local roads.

“Grass fires can embed into the ground and so while it is now smouldering, crews will be there into the night to keep damping down the earth."

The LFB said the brigade was first called at 4.05pm and received more than 110 calls over the "very visible" fire.