People have taken to social media to share pictures and video of the blaze with Twitter user Aninya Guha tweeting: “Another fire in West London. So close to Heathrow!” Dramatic footage shows a plane coming into land as the fire rages nearby.
About 100 firefighters from London Fire Brigade are fighting the flames at the grass fire near Hatton Road in Feltham. Fifteen fire engines are at the scene.
The site of the fire is less than two miles from Heathrow Terminal 4.
Heathrow Airport ramp agent Reece Dickinson tweeted: “Big fire just outside of Heathrow airport. No idea what it is.”
The tweet was accompanied by a photograph showing a plane on the runway with a cloud of smoke behind it
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Due to an off-airport fire, we have alternated our runways this afternoon. The fire is not impacting the operation and flights are continuing as scheduled.”
The flights hub diverted planes to land at its northern runway with jets taking off from its southern runway after the blaze broke out.
It tweeted just before 3.30pm today (August 1): “Good afternoon, due to smoke from a fire off-airport we will be switching back to landing on the northern runway (27R) and taking off from the southern runway (27L). We apologise for the disruption.”
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London Fire Brigade said in a statement about six hectares of land is alight.
The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers took more than 30 calls to the blaze.
Station Commander Paul Casey said at the scene: “The fire is producing a large amount of smoke. Residents in the local area, particularly around Bedfont Sports Club, should keep their windows and doors closed.”
In an update posted online after 6pm, the Station Commander added that about 10 houses were evacuated as a precaution and there are no reports of any injuries.
He said: “Crews are expected to remain on scene this evening turning over and damping down hot spots.”
The Brigade was called at 2.53pm with crews from Feltham, Chiswick, Heathrow, Heston as well as Surrey Fire and Rescue Service at the scene. The Brigade statement added the cause of the fire is not known at this time. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 7.02pm.
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Station Commander Casey said: “Good partnership working with local authorities and Heathrow Airport minimised the impact of the smoke on the airport in the early stages of the fire.”
On the other side of London, about 60 firefighters have been tackling a grass fire near Davies Lane in Leytonstone.
About four hectares of grassland was alight. There were no reports of any injuries, according the London Fire Brigade. Its 999 Control Officers took more than 30 calls to the blaze.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Crews worked incredibly hard to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby properties. Although the temperature has dropped, grasslands will still be extremely dry.
“We don’t want people to be complacent and that means avoiding barbecuing in parks and open spaces, ensuring cigarettes are properly disposed of and clearing away rubbish and glass as they can magnify the sun and cause a fire.”
The Brigade was called at 1.09pm today and the fire was under control by 3.07pm.
Fire crews from Walthamstow, Woodford, Leytonstone, Homerton and surrounding fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
News of the fires came on same day it emerged parts of England have had their driest July since records began. According to provisional figures from the Met Office, south-east and central southern England saw an average of only 5.0mm of rain last month while East Anglia had 5.4mm.
For both areas it was the lowest amount of rainfall in July since Met Office records began almost 200 years ago, in 1836. England as a whole saw an average of 23.1mm – the lowest figure for the month since 1935 and also the seventh lowest July total on record.
The UK-wide average did not rank quite so low, with 46.3mm of rainfall – the 19th lowest July total since 1836. The figures also show that last month was provisionally one of the warmest Julys on record, with a mean temperature across the UK of 16.6C.
Tinder-dry conditions have fuelled a number of wildfires, some of which have destroyed homes and crops as well as prompting calls for a ban on the disposable barbecues behind many of the blazes.