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Eight fire engines and 60 firefighters battling Beckton grass fire

PUBLISHED: 14:57 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:15 26 July 2018

Around six hectares of grass was alight in Beckton. Picture: London Fire Brigade

Around six hectares of grass was alight in Beckton. Picture: London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade

Scores of firefighters are battling a grass fire in Beckton.

Approximately six hectares are ablaze, according to London Fire Brigade.

Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters were called the scene in Royal Road at 1.18pm.

Attending teams from East Greenwich, Bethnal Green, Leyton, East Ham and Walthamstow fire stations are tackling the blaze just days after damping down the capital’s biggest ever grass fire.

Flames up to ten feet high tore through Wanstead Flats when two acres of scrub and woodland set alight.

Hot, dry weather from the ongoing heatwave has helped turn dense vegetation into a ready fuel source.

The Brigade has dealt with 27 grass fires in Newham so far this month, compared to 14 for the whole of July last year.

There have been 43 “large” grass fires this year, which describe flames needing three or more fire engines to tackle.

The figure is six times higher than last year, when only seven major grass fires took place.

With temperatures set to remain high, crews call for an urgent BBQ ban in public parks.

“I have attended a number of these large grass fires and it never ceases to shock me how many abandoned smouldering barbecues fire crews spot,” said fire commissioner Dany Cotton.

“In these arid conditions, barbecuing on dry grass is not just thoughtless, it’s reckless.

“We have a lot of green space in London but it’s nearly always lined by roads and houses. It’s only a matter of time before hot smoke and flaming debris catches nearby cars and houses and someone is seriously hurt.

“I know a barbecue ban can be difficult to enforce and many councils have already implemented a ban but I am calling on all our partners to do whatever they can to help us protect London’s open spaces from devastating blazes.”

At one point this week more than 260 firefighters were on scene tackling grass fires across the capital, including a large blazes on Woolwich Common.

It took four days to put out the Wanstead Flats blaze with around 40 fire engines battling a rapidly spreading fire at its height.

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