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Firefighters tackle ten acre grass fire at Barking and Dagenham nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 14:23 23 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:23 23 July 2013

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Almost ten acres of grassland within a nature reserve turned coal black after a fire took hold, caused by the sweltering heat.

Firefighters were called to tackle the grass fire, which covered an area the size of four football fields, at The Chase Local Nature Reserve, Rush Green, Dagenham, yesterday at just before 5pm. No injuries were reported.

Grass fires have been breaking out at a rate of close to 30 a week across the borough, according to Dagenham station manager Paul McClenaghan.

He said: “The problem with grass fires is if they catch when there’s a wind they can burn faster than you can run.”

Firefighters from Dagenham and Romford stations spent hours extinguishing the flames using jetted water from tanks strapped to their backs while a water relay was needed to cover the area.

Monday was the hottest day of the year with temperatures of 33.5C recorded at Heathrow airport.

It will feel warm again today (Wednesday) with rain on Thursday, followed by sun and thundery showers.


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