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Another Fire In Surrey Woodlands As Surrey Fire & Rescue ‘Stretched To It’s Limits’

Published on: 25 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 27 Jul, 2022

By Emily Inge

Whilst the fire in Hankley Common was still being brought under control, Surrey Fire & Rescue attended a fire in Ockham near Wisley late on Sunday evening (July 24). The number of fires this week was “stretching Surrey Fire & Rescue to its limits” said a firefighter at the scene.

Surrey firefighters tackled a fire in woods in Ockham near Wisley.

A fire crew attended the blaze which was about the size of a tennis court. After putting the fire out, it restarted and firefighters spent more than two hours dampening the blaze to prevent its spread.

Warning that due to the peat soil it may spread underground and reignite nearby, residents were told to listen out overnight, re-check in the morning and call them back if needed.

Firefighters spent two hours dampening down the fire at Ockham after it restarted.

One firefighter, who had attended the Hankley Common blaze earlier on Sunday, told The Dragon “Surrey Fire and Rescue are operating at our highest alert level 5. Our Twitter campaign #burgeroff asks people not to have fires or disposable barbeques in this hot weather”.

Watch Command at the Ockham blaze said “Surrey Fire & Rescue stretched to its limits this week”.

He commented that they could not find the cause of the Ockham fire, but on Tuesday had attended five fires locally.

He said “Two of them were caused by disposable barbeques and one was caused by a farmer having a bonfire, on the hottest day of the year. That fire spread rapidly and took out a corn field, 15 tons of hay, his tractor and a load of trees.

“I went to a large fire also at Frensham Common. People are going out and being really careless, not realising one spark will start a fire.”

The Watch Command in attendance said “I’ve been a fireman for thirty-two years. We do have spate conditions; it used to be every seven years, it’s getting more frequent now, about every 3 years.

“This last week is really stretching Surrey Fire & Rescue to its limits.

“With the major incident at Hankley earlier, all our pumps are out right now and we had London, Hampshire, and Sussex crews with us.

“That fire is now under control but will continue burning until we get a week of rain.”

Fire at Ockham near Wisley.

After extinguishing the blaze, the fire crew paused for a drink of water. They spoke of the personal impact the current heatwave is having on their family lives, with one telling Dragon reporter, Emily Inge, that he had barely seen his wife for three weeks. He said: “We are an on-call crew and normally get about 35 calls a month, this month we are at more than 100 calls already, a quarter of a year’s worth.”

Another said he has a full-time day job as an electrician as well as being on call, and had not had enough time for sleep. He said that he bought his wife flowers yesterday, only to be called out to the major incident at Hankley Common this morning. He told us he expected to be working all night tonight.

See also: Major Incident Declared By Surrey Fire & Rescue Service As They Battle Hankley Common Blaze

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