A HEATHLAND fire swept across parts of Horsell Common on Tuesday afternoon, with local firefighters rushing to the scene.

Surrey Fire and Rescue sent one fire engine, five specialist wildfire vehicles and a water carrier to tackle the blaze, said to have affected two-and-a-half acres of the common.

Plumes of smoke filled the sky and residents on the Horsell Wire Facebook page were reporting a smell of smoke reaching as far away as the canal.

“It is heart-breaking for those of us who manage the common to see people that think it’s ok to light fires or have barbecues in the woods or on the heath, then complain when asked not to do so,” said Pasul Rimmer, estate manager at Horsell Common Preservation Society. “It’s your common, help us protect it. Our grateful thanks as always to Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.”

It follows a fire in woodland at St John’s the previous week, believed to have been started by smouldering charcoal from a picnic barbecue.