Dozens of people have been evacuated from their homes in Surrey after a huge countryside wildfire which could be seen from central London.
Residents have been told not to come back until this morning ‘at the earliest’ after fierce flames started on Chobham Common and spread to Wentworth golf course.
Around 60 houses – home to about 100 people – have been evacuated from Heather Drive in Ascot due to plumes of smoke in the air.
Some houses on the road sold for more than £2 million last year, but are not believed to have been affected by the fire.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service tweeted last night: ‘The fire on Chobham Common is an ongoing incident with significant numbers of emergency services on the scene who are likely to remain there for some time.
‘Some local roads in the area remain closed to allow crews to work and for public safety. Please continue to avoid the area.
‘A number of homes in the area have had to be evacuated for safety reasons. Any resident that has been evacuated should not return to their homes until it’s safe to do so – this will be tomorrow morning at the very earliest.’
The emergency services are expected to remain at the scene for most of the weekend.
The fire service sent 10 fire engines, two water carriers and 10 other vehicles to tackle the blaze.
Police warned the fire was travelling fast due to the wind, and told people on the common to leave the area immediately. They also asked anyone who had left a car behind to notify the police.
Smoke could be seen from more than 20 miles away in west London and from tall buildings in central London.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated but Surrey County Council said the weather and heat had a part to play.
The fire is thought to have caused ash to fall in areas located as far away as Windsor.
Councillor for Clewer East Amy Tisi tweeted: ‘Ash is now falling in my garden in Windsor.
‘I can only assume from Chobham. It must be a huge fire.’
The Rose Ladies Series Grand Final at Wentworth Golf Club has also had to be suspended for the weekend and there are train delays in the area.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.