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Fire breaks out at London park as record heatwave rages

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A fire has broken out in Shirley Hills, south London during a nationwide heatwave.

Flames and large plumes of smoke can be seen rising over the area in Croydon as temperatures reached highs of 40C in London and other parts of the UK.

The London Fire Bridge were called at 12.07pm and four fire engines and around 25 firefighters are currently dealing with the blaze on Oaks Road.

Shirley Hills, also known as Addington Hills, is one of the largest parks in south London and consists mainly of wood and heathlands.

Shirley Hills covers 130 acres of land

(BBC News)

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “The recent hot, dry weather has made the ground extremely dry, which unfortunately means grassland and parks will burn quickly when exposed to even the smallest of sparks.

“Common causes of grass fires include carelessly discarded cigarettes or matches as well as rubbish left lying around such as glass bottles, which can start flames by magnifying the sun’s rays.

“Every one of us can help reduce the risk of fire and keep our communities clean, make sure rubbish is safely thrown away and cigarettes are always properly disposed of.

“If you see a grass fire, don’t attempt to put it out yourself as grass fires can travel very quickly and change direction without warning. If you see signs of smouldering grass then call the Brigade and let us know where the fire is.”

Another four fire engines are also dealing with a seperate grass fire on Chapel View in south Croydon, where around one hectare of woodland is currently alight.

This story is ongoing.

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