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‘Water Bombing’ Employed at Hankley Common to Keep Control of Wildfire

Published on: 28 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 28 Jul, 2022

Areas of Hankley Common were “water bombed” yesterday (July 27) to help lessen the risk of further fires and the risk to firefighters.

An Airbourne Solutions Eurocopter AS350 helicopter provided by the Ministry of Defence, made numerous trips from Frensham Pond to Hankley Common yesterday in a bid to help Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) control further spread of the fire.

Yesterday marked day four of the incident and approximately 50 hectares of land have been affected, although there is not believed to be any damage to property on, or adjacent to the Ministry of Defence training area.

Whilst operations continue the public is urged to stay clear of the common. Local residents who were evacuated returned to their homes on Tuesday.

Waverley Police, the Ministry of Defence Police, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation have been supporting Surrey Fire and Rescue in the response.

Surrey Fire and Rescue acting chief fire officer Dan Quin in 2020. Photo: SCC.

Acting chief fire officer Dan Quin spoke of the joint effort: “This is the first time in Surrey that we have coordinated water bombing activities from a helicopter to support firefighting operations. This additional effort between ourselves, the Ministry of Defence and Surrey Police should go some way in helping us put an end to this wildfire.

“I am very proud of all of the crews and staff who’ve worked on this incident, it’s been another long incident in difficult weather conditions, but we are getting there. I’d also like to thank residents, local farmers and the Hankley Common Golf Club who’ve helped us along the way.”

On Sunday (July 24) a SFRS firefighter told Dragon reporter Emily Inge: “This last week is really stretching Surrey Fire & Rescue to its limits.”

Inspector Sam Adcock, borough commander for Waverley, said: “We have been supporting our colleagues at the fire service throughout the week to help contain the fire at Hankley Common, which included aerial firefighting exercises yesterday. A number of road closures were in place which have now been lifted.

“I would like to thank the residents of Waverley for their continued patience with the disruption caused by the fire. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Surrey Fire and Rescue who have been working around the clock to keep us safe.”

See also: Fight Against Surrey Wildfire Scaled Back

 

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