London

Epping Forest blaze under control

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Media captionFirefighters are attending the blaze at the southern end of Epping Forest

A fire has broken out at a woodland in Leytonstone, east London.

About 60 firefighters tackled the blaze, which is now under control, on the southern edge of Epping Forest. Crews were called at about 15:00 BST.

About 40 firefighters tackled a grass fire on Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, which is now also under control.

The road has been closed in both directions between the A12 at the Green Man Roundabout and Whipps Cross Roundabout, owing to the smoke.

Image caption The fire spread rapidly in its early stages

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said that no properties had been affected, but local residents should close their windows.

James Morford from LFB said: "Crews have been using grass beaters, water back packs and hoses to tackle the flames.

"We're working incredibly hard in what are extremely hot and arduous conditions."

Some people tweeted that smoke could be seen from the Olympic Park, several miles away from the forest.

Supt of Epping Forest, Paul Thomson, said he hoped people would continue to enjoy using the forest in the future but he urged the public to take "particular precautions" when using barbecues and cigarettes.

Image caption People at the Olympic Park have been tweeting that they can see smoke from the fires

Jamie Foster, who runs the Log Cabin cafe near the site, said: "You could see black smoke bellowing from that part of Epping Forest and there was about 100 firefighters there and loads of police.

"I've seen a few fires over there in the last few years but this has got to be the biggest one.

"The police officer I spoke to said the car park that surrounds my business is going to be kept closed until further notice so it must be quite bad over there."

LFB said so far this month it had dealt with more than 460 grass fires.

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