London Fire Brigade (LFB) has declared a major incident due to “a huge surge” in blazes across the capital amid the 40C heat.

It comes after around 100 firefighters tackled a blaze in the village of Wennington, east London, on Tuesday afternoon, with television footage showing black smoke billowing into the air, with buildings and fields on fire.

The fire brigade said in a statement it is battling “several significant” incidents in the capital, as people have been urged not to have barbecues or bonfires due to the “unprecedented” challenges crews face.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said LFB is under “immense pressure”.

LFB’s assistant commissioner for operational resilience and control, Patrick Goulbourne, said: “The brigade remains ready to respond to incidents.

“However, we want to ensure our resources are available for people who really need our help.

“If you see a fire smouldering, please don’t hesitate to call us.

“The sooner we know about a fire, the sooner we can bring it under control and prevent it from spreading further, reducing the need for us to mobilise additional resources.

The National Wales: A blaze in the village of Wennington, east London. (Picture: PA Wire)A blaze in the village of Wennington, east London. (Picture: PA Wire)

“We are also strongly urging people not to have barbecues or bonfires today as the ground is incredibly dry, which means even the smallest sparks could cause a fire.

“Please take care during the heatwave as all emergency services are facing unprecedented challenges.”

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies tweeted his support to fire service personnel in the English capital this afternoon: "Hard to watch the awful scenes in London as fires rip through homes.

"I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say I can think of few worse things than having your home destroyed.

"Thank you to the fire services who are working so hard to save lives and homes."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter: “London Fire Brigade has just declared a major incident in response to a huge surge in fires across the capital today.

“This is critical: @LondonFire is under immense pressure.

“Please be safe. I’m in touch with the Commissioner and will share updates when I have them.”

It came as temperatures in the city hit around 40C.

 

 

LFB said 15 fire engines and about 100 firefighters were called to Wennington just after 1pm.

At least one home appeared to be destroyed in the fire, while smoke covered a wide area.

Nearby fields were seen to be scorched.

Train operator c2c Rail said the line between Ockendon and Upminster is closed until the end of the day due to the fire.

Thirty fire engines were also dealing with a grass fire in Pea Lane, Upminster.

The fires being tackled in London on Tuesday afternoon:

– Thirty fire engines dealing with a grass fire on Pea Lane in Upminster.

– Fifteen fire engines tackling a fire on The Green in Wennington.

– Twelve fire engines tackling a fire involving garden fencing and trees on Uxbridge Road in Pinner.

– Ten fire engines tackling a restaurant fire on Green Lanes in Southgate.

– Eight fire engines tackling a grass fire on Oaks Road in Croydon.

– Eight fire engines tackling a grass fire on Ballards Road in Dagenham.

– Eight fire engines tackling a fire on The Broadway in Wembley.

– Six fire engines tackling a grass fire on Sunningfields Crescent in Hendon.

– Four fire engines tackling a grass fire on Chapel View in Croydon.

– Four fire engines tackling a fire on Sidcup Road in Eltham.

Additional reporting: Rebecca Wilks