General

Chobham Common fire – updates

Update: Monday 17 August 16.45pm.

The Chobham Common incident has been closed this afternoon (17 August 2020) by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) following regular inspections. We would like to reiterate our thanks to SFRS staff and others who have helped us at this fire over the past 10 days.

If signs of fire or smoke appear, we ask that residents call 999 to report any sightings as per normal.

Whilst the cause of this fire is unknown, we would like to remind the public to take extra care whilst enjoying the outdoors, to refrain from starting unnecessary fires or barbecues and to carefully dispose of rubbish and smoking materials.

Update: Thursday 13 August 9.45am.

The decision was made by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to step back from major incident status yesterday at 5.30pm.

The four National Resilience Assurance Team wildfire specialist vehicles will continue to support us during the day until Friday at 6pm. We also still have four Surrey Fire and Rescue Service vehicles in attendance.

Staff who remain at the incident will continue damping down and preventing flare ups as well as stowing equipment away that is no longer being used.

You can find our Assistant Chief Fire Officer Kasey Beal’s video update on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Update: Wednesday 12 August 11:00

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) remain on site at the Chobham Common incident and crews will continue damping down until we are confident we’ve extinguished all hot spots.

We are maintaining major incident status, however this is under review and we hope to step back from this later today.

An additional Tactical Wildfire Advisor is on site to assist in stowing away equipment.

There are currently around 20 staff members and 10 off road vehicles working at this incident. Six of which are SFRS vehicles and the remaining four are National Resilience Assurance Team wildfire specialist vehicles.

Please follow SFRS on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

Update: Tuesday 11 August 10:00

The fire on Chobham Common is an ongoing major incident. The situation remains stable and 16 firefighters continue to damp down fire sectors and monitor and prevent further spread of fire using eight off-road, specialist wildfire vehicles.

We are also being supported by the National Resilience Assurance Team and other members of Surrey Fire and Rescue staff who are providing command, support and welfare functions.

We continue to provide adequate welfare provisions for staff including food, drinks and sun protection. We would also like to thank the community of Chobham and beyond for their additional donations.

Update: Monday 10 August 12:00

Fire crews remain at the fire on Chobham Common.

Whilst this is still a significant incident, crews have stabilised the situation and firefighting resources have been reduced accordingly. Sixteen firefighters are currently tackling the fire using eight vehicles.  The service continues to be supported by wildfire tactical advisors from other fire and rescue services and with logistical support from the national resilience advisory team.

We expect to remain on scene for the remainder of the week and will be constantly monitoring the weather conditions which could see the fire develop further again. Residents are asked to continue avoiding the area.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service would like to remind the public to avoid creating unnecessary fires and not to light bonfires, disposable BBQs and to avoid dropping litter.

Update: Sunday 9 August 16:00

Fire crews continue to work at Chobham Common tackling a number of hotspots and damping down the area.

Although crews will likely be on scene for most of the week a decision has been made by the various agencies dealing with the incident that residents previously evacuated will begin to be allowed to return to their homes.

Surrey’s firefighters along with a team of national specialist wildfire tactical advisors warn that the weather conditions continue to create a situation where the fire could rapidly take hold again and that further evacuations may be required.

Walkers and other visitors are also being asked to continue to avoid the Common for their own safety.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service continues to call on residents to avoid creating unnecessary fires and not to light bonfires, disposable BBQs and to avoid dropping litter.

 

  • Note – no further updates are expected today (Sunday)

 

 

Update: Sunday 9 August 09:00

A large number of resources remain on the scene at Chobham Common, overnight the cooling air temperatures and hard work by the crews at the scene have made significant progress.

At this time the fire service are focusing on damping down and tackling hot spots across the common although with the weather forecasted to be hot and dry through the day this is very much still an active incident.

Chobham Common should be avoided by members of the public for their own safety.

Note – a further update will provided on Sunday afternoon.

Update: Saturday 8 August 18:00

Surrey Fire and Rescue was called just after midday on Friday to a fire on Chobham Common. An estimated 140 acres of heath and scrubland has been affected by the fire.

At it’s peak more than 40 vehicles including fire engines, specialist units and 4x4s were at the scene and the fire service along with numerous partners continues to have a significant presence at the scene dealing with incident.

We’re expecting fire crews to remain on scene through the next couple of days to continue to tackle the fire and then to damp down the area.

Following discussions between partners a number of properties have had to be evacuated due to safety reasons and at this time it is not safe for those residents to return to their homes. A number of local roads remain closed and we’re also asking people to avoid the area.

Although it’s too early to say exactly what the cause of this fire was the extreme temperatures across the county have no doubt had an impact. We’re asking residents to avoid starting unnecessary fires including lighting bonfires, or using disposable BBQs in our countryside to prevent any more fires of this nature breaking out.

Surrey Police have been supporting the multiagency major incident response with officers, Special Constables and staff, who have been maintaining road closures and managing the evacuations of residents and members of the public in the area.

We thank the public for their continued support of the emergency services and for helping those who have been evacuated.

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