Three Enfield grass fires amid warning over ‘tinderbox’ conditions

Latest blazes come shortly after a drought was declared for London and the south-east of England, reports James Cracknell

The aftermath of the blaze at Rammey Marsh, Enfield Lock

Three separate grass fires were tackled by firefighters in Enfield over the weekend – as the borough awaits its first significant rainfall since June.

On Saturday (13th), ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters tackled a grass fire on Rammey Marsh in Enfield Lock. An area of grassland measuring around 900 metres by 600m was alight. There were no reports of any injuries. 

The fire produced a lot of smoke over the M25 between junctions 25 and 26. It began at around 1pm and was under control by 7pm. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On Sunday, 15 fire engines and around 100 firefighters were called to a grass fire in fields surrounding a school in Turkey Street. Around five hectares of heathland was destroyed. No properties were affected by the fire.

The brigade was called at around 1pm and the fire was under control by 5.30pm. Station commander Dean Wilkinson, who was at the scene, said: “The fire spread to a field with two horses. Firefighters worked hard in hot conditions to put out the fire in the field and the horses were moved to safety.

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“This summer has seen an unprecedented long, dry spell with high temperatures so the grass in London is tinderbox dry and the smallest of sparks can start a blaze which could cause devastation.

“Despite our continued warning over the last few weeks, we know there are still people who are barbecuing in parks, dropping cigarettes out of car windows and leaving rubbish lying around.

“We are asking Londoners to help us protect the city we all love by doing everything you can to prevent further grass fires. Please don’t barbecue in open spaces or balconies, throw your rubbish away safely and put your cigarettes out properly.”

There was also a small grass fire on Sunday at Forty Hall Estate, shortly following the monthly market at Forty Hall Farm, which was tackled by firefighters before it could spread more widely.

The weekend’s fires are just the latest in a string of blazes to have hit Enfield this summer amid exceptional heatwaves and a lack of rain.

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