Pirbright fires: Crews tackle new heathland wildfire

Aerial image of the heathland fire at Pirbright, Surrey Image copyright NPAS Redhill
Image caption A pilot from NPAS Redhill captured this picture of the heathland blaze

Fire crews are tackling a large wildfire in Surrey days after a blaze destroyed about 40 hectares of heathland in the same area.

About 70 firefighters were called to the grass fire at Stoney Castle Ranges near Pirbright on Saturday evening.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said 50 hectares of heathland was alight, with 200 more being affected by the blaze.

The smoke can be seen for miles around. Nearby residents have been urged to keep their windows shut.

The heath at Pirbright is home to species including the silver-studded blue butterfly, slow worms and lizards.

Image copyright Ian Launchbury
Image caption Fire crews have been tackling the blaze overnight

A spokesman for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: "We have been fighting the fire overnight with six fire appliances and a number of specialist wildfire vehicles, with approximately 50 firefighters.

"These fire crews are using over 10km of hose."

He added: "The fire is affecting 200 hectares, with 50 hectares alight, this can be seen from a considerable distance, with smoke affecting surrounding areas including Pirbright Common, Ash Ranges, Deepcut and Mytchett."

People living nearby have been urged to keep their doors and windows closed due to the smoke.

Surrey Police want to speak to a man wearing a camouflage top, blue jeans and black boots who was seen in the area when the fire started.

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