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Wildfire Ravages Thursley Common, Drivers Warned of Smoke Hazard

Published on: 31 May, 2020
Updated on: 31 May, 2020

Thursley wildfire. Photo Surrey Fire & Rescue

Firefighters were still dealing with a large fire at Thursley Common this afternoon. The fire started yesterday and burned through the night.

Smoke from the fire was visible from the Hog’s Back. Dragon reader Andrew Watkins wrote in today (May 31) to say he had seen smoke billowing on the horizon from the 20-hectare fire still ablaze further to the south, at Thursley Common.

Mr Watkins, an Australian, commented: “Having spent time with family in South East Australia over the summer there, the sight of billowing smoke in the distance was an unwelcome reminder of the Australian bushfire season just passed. It’s not often I find myself hoping for rain in England!”

Smoke from the fire clearly visible from the Hog’s Back at Guildford. Photo Andrew Watkins

Surrey police were notified of the fire at around 4.35pm yesterday, and assisted with road closures, evacuating the common and 14 local properties while Surrey Fire & Rescue tackled the fire. Everyone on the common is believed accounted for.

A young fallow deer is rescued from the flames. Photo Surrey Fire & Rescue

Thursley Road was closed completely, for the safety of the public and to allow the emergency services to carry out their work.

A police spokesperson said: “Smoke from the fire is visible for a number of miles and we ask residents to keep their doors and windows closed to prevent breathing difficulties. Drivers in the area, including those using the A3, need to be aware that the smoke may affect visibility.

Surrey Fire & Rescue is reported to have had 25 units deployed at Thursley. It tweeted: “We would like to re-iterate this important safety message. Please refrain from using disposable barbecues, having campfires, and ensure smoking materials are fully extinguished at this time in forests, parks or any public area. Wildfire warnings are currently at Amber (very high).”

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